Now performing as Jennifer Leitham, left-handed bassist John Leitham earned a reputation as a swinging, straight-ahead player with an immaculate sense of time. Born in Philadelphia in 1953, Leitham first played bass in a rock band and switched to acoustic upright in his early twenties. He studied for six years with Philly-area teacher Al Stauffer, and landed his first major professional job with the Woody Herman Orchestra in 1981; two years later, he relocated to Los Angeles. Leitham found a high-profile home in Mel Tormé's backing group starting in 1987, and remained with the singer until the 1996 stroke that ended his performing career. In the meantime, Leitham performed with many other jazz notables, including George Shearing, Gerry Mulligan, Peggy Lee, Cleo Laine, Joe Pass, Pete Rugolo, and Bob Cooper, and also became a regular cohort of Doc Severinsen, playing with the Tonight Show Band and the trumpeter's regular orchestra (the latter gig still continues today). Additionally, Leitham began recording as a leader for the USA label with 1989's Leitham Up (a pun on the bassist's name, pronounced "light-em"). Two more straight-ahead albums for USA, The Southpaw and Lefty Leaps In, followed in 1992 and 1996, respectively. The 1998 release Live! (on CARS) was culled from a concert set performed in Hollywood the previous year with longtime L.A. cohorts like tenor men Pete Christlieb and Rickey Woodard. In 2000, Leitham recorded an album of duets with guitarist Jimmy Bruno, Two for the Road. In 2002, Leitham underwent gender reassignment surgery and emerged successfully as Jennifer Leitham; lacking medical insurance, she helped defray the cost by filming a documentary slated to air on the Learning Channel and the Discovery Channel. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi

Top Tracks
Mel Torme w/John Colianni, John Leitham, Donny Osborne - "Good King Wencaslas"
I Stand Corrected - Jennifer Leitham Documentary
Jennifer Leitham Trio - Tricotism
Jennifer Leitham Trio "Split Brain"
Jennifer Leitham Stands Corrected Guided by Hope and the Love of Music 1
Jennifer Leitham - Bass extraordinaire noodling at Winter NAMM 2012 - Hofner Booth
Jennifer Leitham PSA TDOV '20
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