Monica Lee is a Vancouver-based singer-songwriter with a gypsy-soul voice, a poet’s lyricism, and a natural command of piano, guitar and viola. She has the kind of luminous stage presence that makes audiences of any size feel as if they are cherished guests at an intimate performance in her own living room.
 
In her inspirational songs of love, pain and redemption, Monica cleverly mixes elements of roots, jazz, blues, country, indie rock and a hint of gypsy. The result:  an eclectic fusion that feels both classic and excitingly new. Complemented by highly skilled musicians (percussionist Michael Simpson and guitarist Jesse Waldman), Monica is renowned for delivering truly exhilarating live sets – full of lush piano, rich harmonies, solid rhythms, entrancing strings and soaring guitars, all wrapped around catchy melodies that resonate in listeners’ memories for days.  
 
Perhaps not surprisingly, Calgary-born Monica Lee hails from a musical background that was as unique as it was rich. She is the product of a classically-trained pianist mother and a calypso-singing, ukelele-playing Trinidadian father who delighted in entertaining. Their home was animated by his made-up songs about friends and guests, and pulsed with never-ending beats from his rhythm foot. Inspired by her parents’ passion for music, Monica grew up exploring every instrument she could lay hands on – including clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, trumpet, piano, guitar, cello and viola. As an adult, Monica went on to study jazz voice, viola and piano at the Vancouver Community College. She has matured into a charismatic performer.
 
These days, Monica Lee is a featured entertainer at one of Vancouver’s hippest live-music venues: the Libra Room on Commercial Drive. For three years running, Monica and her bandmates have cultivated a devoted following – and reliably pack the house every week.
 
In 2007, the Monica Lee Band responded to audience demand by releasing a CD that reflects the dynamism of those performances. The result is The Monica Lee Band Live at the Libra Room. Distributed by Indie Pool, the CD is available now through our on line store, from Itunes or can be ordered through record stores across Canada.
 
Monica Lee’s original music has also made its film debut. In 2006, three songs from Monica’s very successful second CD, Season’s Greetings, were selected for use in the CBC/APTN documentary, A Safer Sex Trade. Utterly captivated by their earthy sound, director Carolyn Allain went on to commission Monica to compose an original score for the entire film. The film’s emotional climax – footage of an 2004 march in honour of women who’ve gone missing from Vancouver’s Downtown East Side – is underscored by Monica’s poignant composition Judy Lea. Repeated screenings of this critically acclaimed documentary continue to generate viewer inquiries about the song, and about other music by Monica Lee. Because of its popularity, a new, live version of Judy Lea was chosen by the band to be the opening track on the new CD.
biography
 
photo by Chris Bizzocchi
Reactions to Monica’s score of the CBC/APTN Documentary “A Safer Sex Trade” Jan 07
 
Monica, You are a gifted singer and songwriter. Too bad that the people in the east  haven't had the chance to hear you on the scale the CBC documentary  offers.
Vancouver is fortunate to have such a talented person.”
- Rod, Beautiful London Ontario
 
“Hi.  My  name  is   "Robin Côté". I'm from Québec  city.  I   watched  "A  safer sex trade" on "Radio Canada  (CBC)" last   night.  I  loved  your  songs on that show , specially "Judy    lea".  I  tried  to get  your "Season's Greetings Album" at a   local music  store today but......  couldn't  find  it.  Where,  do you  think I could get this  album ??   Thank  you”  
- Robin Côté, Quebec City
 
Congrats on the production! It was amazing… listening to you sing Judy Lea during the Procession for the Missing Women brought tears to my eyes. You should feel such pride for your contribution in bringing this important message to the world.”
- Beth Ringdahl, MBA, CEO, EcoEco Consulting Vancouver, BC
 
Email sent to Director Carolyn Allain
“I watched your documentary last night on "Safe Sex Trade"
Was a very interesting show but the reason for my email is one song on the show that I heard was very profound. The title of the song I believe would be "Judy Lee" but I did not recognize the singer.  I believe a canadian and maybe Joni Mitchell but not sure. If you could be so kind as to email me back with the artist  name I would be grateful. Thank You”
 - Gail Maloney, Baddeck,Nova Scotia
 
Quotes about monica lee
 
“Monica Lee is a fine musician and and excellent vocalist. Catchy melodies are everywhere in her music.  But where she truly shines is in her lyrics.  I’ve herd a lot of songs over the years, and I find words worth hearing to be quite rare.”
STEVEN DRAKE, OF “THE ODDS”
 
I listened to your disk with my morning coffee.  It’s cool and really refreshing.  Your phrasing is great and I love the tunes, lost of space but full of wonderful moments in each song. Hope you don’t mind the comparison but lyrically you share some of Joni Mitchell’s talent for imagery and poetry.  I really like what I hear.”
JOHN MANN, OF ‘SPIRIT OF THE WEST’
 
“..the sound of life!  ... the sound of new landscapes being explored and musicians finding that special place where birth happens.  She’ll tickle your inner hippie while greasing up your blues cat.  She’s Monica Lee.”
NATHAN PEEKAY, 4thrcrdMag.
 
“crowd pleasers...gypsy folk...she is singing for the people and they are responding”  
TOM HARRISON, THE VANCOUVER PROVINCE
Download bio .pdf 1MB (press quality print)