With a few unexpected twists
Mix three singer-songwriters, several stringed instruments, and a variety of percussive techniques, and you get Five Letter Word. This Portland, OR-based trio of powerful women includes Leigh Jones (guitar, percussion), Clara Baker (fiddle, guitar, banjo) and Audra Nemir (bass), blending their signature harmonies into songs from folk to bluegrass to blues and beyond. Recent winners of the 2018 Northwest String Summit Band Competition, Five Letter Word takes inspiration from the harmonic tradition of groups like the Wailin' Jennys, Dixie Chicks, and The Wood Brothers, and add their own special flair to create a sound that is "uniquely infectious” and a show that is “delightful, with a few unexpected twists.”
VOCALS, GUITAR, PERCUSSION
After growing up steeped in musical theater in North Carolina, Leigh Jones earned a Drama degree from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, then spent several years in the NYC music scene before moving to Portland in 2014. She has toured across the US and abroad, and in the fall of 2012 she released her debut LP, Worth Wild, which showcases the intersection of her theater background and southern roots. With an unforgettable voice that has been compared to Dolly Parton and Alison Krauss, Leigh's musical performances show remarkable versatility as she bounces between stringed and percussive instruments, occasionally leaning on her dance background to round out the show, and always lending her clear voice to the melodies and harmonies that form the backbone of the band's sound.
VOCALS, FIDDLE, GUITAR
Portland native Clara Baker has toured the US from coast to coast, sharing her original songs, masterful guitar playing, and soulful fiddling with rapt audiences across the country. Her debut album, Temporary Things (2015) was released to widespread radio play, and two months on national folk DJ charts. Her sophomore album, Things to Burn (2019) was recorded live to tape with Grammy-winning engineer Brian Joseph (Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver), produced by avant-folk experimentalist Shane Leonard. Learn more about Clara at her website here.
Audra Nemir's musical journey started with piano, which she played in her high school's jazz band, and choral singing. Several bands and a cappella groups later, she discovered a passion for thumping low notes, and took up the upright bass in 2012. Since then, Audra played in a number of Americana bands, where her energetic stage presence rarely goes unnoticed. Audra's songwriting reflects her mixed musical background, with emphasis on multipart harmonies and instrumentation.