Bill Leslie & Lorica
Sometimes, leading a double life can be a really good thing -- especially if you’re in the audience.
Bill Leslie splits his brain, his breath, his time, his career, his very full life and his very little sleep between two worlds.
One casts him as the multiple Emmy & Peabody Award-winning broadcast morning news anchor at CBS affiliate Capitol Broadcasting/WRAL-TV in Raleigh, NC. His other equally-gratifying world is as a composer and musician -- performing as leader of the Celtic/Folk/New Age-blended “Bill Leslie & Lorica” -- a five-member ensemble whose albums have topped World Music charts in the U.S and abroad. His most recent recording “Scotland: Grace of the Wild” was named World Radio Album of the Year in 2013, with the recent award presented to Bill by iconic Windham Hill Records’ founder Will Ackerman at the Zone Music Awards in New Orleans. Bill Leslie & Lorica’s soothing musical configuration includes guitar, Celtic whistle, violin, flute, piano, percussion and vocals. Non-seasonal and holiday-themed performances, as well as solo and special appearances, are available.
Handling Leslie’s dual career paths – music and television news – requires strict time management and deeply-rooted focus from both sides of the lens & the curtain.
“My alarm clock sounds at 2:25 each weekday morning. Within two hours I am on the air presenting the latest news to the largest broadcast news audience in the Carolinas. My broadcast day ends around 1:15pm, then music dominates the rest of the afternoon. I always set aside time for songwriting.
“For the longest time I tried to push music into the background, thinking that was the responsible thing to do. But music kept pushing back at me. Broadcast journalism is a demanding profession and I work for a station with incredibly high standards. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Many of the things I report on are full of meanness and madness. People tell me my music is full of beauty and warmth. So music adds balance to my life…”
Bill Leslie’s newest recording “Across The Water” is an ethereal “love letter” to Ireland. The CD will be released October 2015.
The remarkable How-Does-Bill-Leslie-Do-It arsenal currently includes
- Composer of the official orchestral theme for the 2006 international Festival of Tall Ships
- Winner of five broadcast Emmy Awards
- Recipient of two Peabody Awards, the ‘Pulitzer of broadcast journalism’
- National Society of Professional Journalists Distinguished Public Service Award
- The Edward R. Murrow Award
- The Robert F. Kennedy Award
- The Charles Kuralt Award
- 2005 “Best Holiday Album” Award
- Number One rankings on the New Age Reporter World Music Chart
- Best New Artist” in World Music genre
- 2008 Best Acoustic Instrumental Album worldwide
- 2011 #1 holiday album with A Midnight Clear: Christmas in Mitford
- 2013 Album of the Year for “Scotland: Grace of the Wild”
In a Word…
"He's one of the greats in modern Celtic music." - Cellist Yo-Yo Ma
“Bill Leslie is a passionate guitarist and compelling live performance artist. I’ve performed with Bill many times on stage including our time together with the North Carolina Symphony. The crowd just loves Bill's original music and his stunning virtuosity. It’s no wonder he’s won so many awards for his compositions.” - John Tesh
“Bill’s haunting flute echoes through the marshlands offering safe passage from the bad dreams and stress of daily living. Even though it has a simple ephemeral melody, it offers a mental hold on the physical, while the spirit is allowed to play…” - R.J. Lannan, TradConnect
"Your music is wistful and consoling - the perfect antidote for the bane of modern anxiety." - NY Times best-selling author Jan Karon
“A masterful artist taking over many world music charts. His newest release is a beautiful journey across windswept castle ruins, wild moors and haunting landscapes of this enchanting land… Rugged and soul searing, ‘Scotland: Grace of the Wild’ blends modern Celtic New Age fusion with a classical bent.” - Dana Wright, Muzikreviews.com
“I suppose that's what our imaginations are for…traveling without traveling. With music this wonderful, all we need do is close our eyes.” - Bill Binkelman, Wind and Wire
“A recurring theme of his music is the sacredness of space. He explores that theme by inviting us on explorations of places that are near to his heart. The lion’s share of his music has described journeys through his beloved North Carolina — his meditation in the pews of Grace Episcopal Church in Morganton, his hikes among the ancient pines of Linville Gorge, and his times walking through the brackish mists of historic Bath…” - Garry Crites
“This music reaches down into your soul… The flute playing is almost like a Loon’s call on a quiet lake that demands your silence to be heard.” - Ed Bonk, Lazz Promotions
A Presenter's Point of View
"If all the shows were this easy to book, and the artists so accommodating, I would enjoy this work even more. What a pleasure it was working with Bill. I am not sure that there is a kinder soul on the planet… The music was absolutely beautiful and the audience loved him. It was a glorious concert, and I believe he enjoyed being here as well."
Tommy Deadwyler, Executive Director
McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center, Henderson, NC
“The beauty inside Bill Leslie’s music is synonymous with the mantra, ‘Dance like no one is watching.’ Bill transports his audience and himself into the music, inviting us to travel along the paths, folklore and humanity we secretly cling to. Presenting Bill Leslie and Lorica is like visiting with close friends. Everyone is at ease, polite, committed to their relative tasks for the evening, retaining their individual commitment and intensity to the music and yet equally aware of their great fortune to amass audiences that just adore them…”
Scotty Henley, Executive Director
The Clayton Center, Clayton, NC