Le’Andra McPhatter (N.C. Folklife Area)

  • gospel, R&B, jazz
  • Kinston, North Carolina

Le’Andra McPhatter is a self-taught pianist from Kinston, a small town in eastern North Carolina whose reputation for great jazz and R&B music belies its small size. Le’Andra’s gift for gospel, R&B, and jazz gives her a versatile touch at the piano and a soulful approach to both performing and teaching.

Raised in a family of singers and musicians, Le’Andra became a musician at the age of three. Like many great gospel, R&B, and jazz artists, she got her start in the church, playing piano for Sunday services in her hometown. She went on to pursue independent studies in music theory and notation, and is currently a student in the illustrious Jazz Studies program at North Carolina Central University. Studying in the wellspring of North Carolina’s jazz heritage, Le’Andra currently explores innovative techniques of harmony and melody, while simultaneously earning her certification in teaching. She works with students of all ages while continuing to minister at her local church. Le’Andra has performed with artists like Branford Marsalis, Kierra Sheard, and Shana Tucker, spreading the word to audiences across the country about eastern North Carolina’s deep tradition of gospel, R&B, and jazz.

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