Rock n Roll grit meets funk groove chic wearing bell bottoms and a serious attitude. That is Jen Leigh; nicknamed 'dirty jenny' for her ferocious leads, intense live energy, wah wah prowess, and edgy, commanding guitar tone and songs.
Jen's professional resume touring & recording for other artists is as impressive as it is diverse. From Michael Jackson, to Grateful Dead/Garcia alum, Merl Saunders, to the acapella Grammy winning Sweet Honey In The Rock, to funk legend George Clinton and P-Funk affiliated bands, 420 Funk Mob & DRUGS, to folk/rock powerhouse Toshi Reagon, and hip-hop/R&B diva Kelis, Jen has showcased her skills with so many great artists, both big and small. She has proudly graced the stages of Carnegie Hall and Saturday Night Live...and that's just a partial list.
Born & raised in Hartford, CT, Jen honed her craft in upstate NY, Austin, TX, & Los Angeles, CA. Her former band, BIG SISTER, was signed to Capricorn/Universal Records and released their major label debut, "So Hi How Are You", in July of 2000, garnering a 3 1/2 star review in Rolling Stone magazine. Her current aptly named funk/rock jam band, "The Dirty Bunch", focuses on original vocal material and high energy live shows.
Jen has released three solo EP's, "American Bulldog" in 2011, "rock n roll soul" in 2014, & 2021’s “jen leigh & the dirty bunch”. In August 2016 Jen had the pleasure of working with legendary producer/engineer Ed Cherney, recording the BMG musical soundtrack for "A Taste Of Things To Come", a 50s & 60s inspired all-women play which toured in the US & Off Broadway in NYC.
In October 2017, Jen won 1st place in the "Texas Shred Off " Guitar Competition in Austin, TX, wowing the crowd & judges through four intense stages of battle. 2019 brought yet another new musical challenge for Jen. She was the sole guitarist for the Santa Barbara, CA production of "Head Over Heels", the former Broadway musical based on songs by the Go Go’s. Whether on stage, in the studio, or recording home sessions for clients around the world, Jen's talent and passion always rise to the occasion.
FUNkY FACTS ; Jen has been featured in GUITAR WORLD's "TOP 10 FEMALE GUITARISTS YOU SHOULD KNOW' list, Rolling Stone, Guitar ONE, Guitar Player, Guitar For The Practicing Musician, Europe's CLASSIC ROCK Italia, & Austin's ROCKSTAR magazines, as well as in the book 'UNCOMMON SOUND', devoted to lefty players.
Jen is the sole female guitarist to have ever recorded on a Michael Jackson studio album, having played on the song, "Stranger In Moscow", from the 1995 SONY release, HIStory Book I.
Jen is actually right handed but plays guitar and bass left handed strung either way. She often writes and records on right handed instruments. Her main guitars are custom built Mustangs, which she favors due to their 24" scale necks, smaller bodies, and raw tones. Jen is also an extremely well respected instructor, having taught privately for years, as well as at The National Guitar Workshop, Austin's GIRL GUITAR, & Santa Barbara's Girls Rock Academy.
Eric Curtis' stunning book, "FALLEN SUPERHEROES", features Jen in a chapter of wild, futuristic photos as the character 'Spiral Girl.' She is seen alongside her beloved American Bulldog, Spiral.
INFLUENCES; Jimi Hendrix, The Meters, George Clinton & P-Funk, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, The Runaways, Joan Jett, Wendy & Lisa.
Jen Leigh proudly plays and endorses; 3RD POWER AMPLIFICATION, D' ADDARIO STRINGS, & RMC/Real McCoy Custom WAH PEDALS.
STUDIO CREDITS INCLUDE ; Ed Cherney, A Taste Of Things To Come/BMG-musical soundtrack 2016, Michael Jackon (HIStory BOOK I), Sweet Honey in The Rock LIVE, Vicki Randle (Sleep City), Big Sister (so hi how are you/Capricorn), Kelly Chapman (Great Is Your Grace), Cindy Blackman Santana, Chuck Rainey, Allee Willis, & more