Adia Ledbetter, a native Durhamite, has been singing all her life. She started out singing in church and school. She began taking voice lessons in high school. While earning a degree in Exercise and Sports Science from UNCG, she had an opportunity to travel and sing jazz with pianist Yusuf Salim and bassist Freeman Ledbetter.
In order to continue training and pursue her singing career, Adia returned to school and graduated from North Carolina Central University with degrees in Jazz Studies and Music Education. Her performing experience includes opening for such jazz luminaries as Hubert Laws, Nnenna Freelon, Jimmy Heath, Grady Tate, Freddie Cole, Antonio Hart and the Branford Marsalis Quartet. Most recently, Adia has studied voice under the tutelage of Lenora Zenzalai Helm and J. D. Walter.
After teaching music for one year in the Durham Public Schools, Adia went on to earn a Master of Jazz Studies Degree at Queens College in New York, NY.
Adia was chosen as an outstanding performer by Downbeat magazine in June 2006 and was selected to participate in the 2006 Kennedy Center Betty Carter Jazz Ahead International Jazz Residency and Performance Project. In 2007 she was listed as a “vocalist to watch” in the NC Independent Weekly. In 2008 she was chosen as an Emerging Artist by the Durham Arts Council. In 2011, she became a Durham Arts Council CAPS artist, bringing the arts to public and private schools.
Adia’s debut recording, “First Take”, features Generations, a straight ahead jazz quartet spanning two generations. She has just released her sophomore recording, “Take 2: Rendezvous with Yesterdays.” This recording features her own unique arrangements of jazz standards.
“Adia Ledbetter has a voice full of personality and expression that surprises. A young voice but she has something of substance to say that belies her tender years. She is soulful, and as in her title tune “Rendezvous with Yesterdays”, deeply personal yet she is willing to share her thanks with those who inspired her.”
Deborah Brown- Jazz Vocalist
“You can hear the history of the music wrapped in the joy of singing. Adia’s sounds says, “I know where I come from….and I love it”
Brandon McCune- Jazz Pianist, Composer, Arranger, and Educator
“Adia Ledbetter is a breath of fresh air! She is soulful without compromising the swing, yet creative while respecting the jazz vocal tradition. By refusing to copy anyone, Adia Ledbetter has done her homework, and she has etched out her very own sound. Listen well!!”
Lenora Zenzalai Helm- Jazz Vocal Musician, Composer, Arranger, and Educator