a.k.a.: Christie Lenee Jimenez, 23, of Citrus Park
You'll catch her: Performing solo or leading the Funk Grass Groove (with Joe Grady on bass; Jose Cochez, Daniel Johnson and Dave Rudolph taking turns on drums; Joe Cosas, keyboards; and Juan Montero or Nalicio Taveras on saxophone).
Influences: Dave Matthews, Ani DiFranco, Joni Mitchell and Tim Reynolds.
South American and Cajun/Irish: Her dad is from Colombia, mom's an ethnic mix from South Carolina, and her older sister teaches yoga. "I was raised appreciating the mind, body, spirit connection," Lenee says.
Recordings: She released Melody of Mood in 2007 and will release Set It Free in the next couple of months. Melody of Mood is mostly guitar and vocals, but Set It Free throws more sounds in the mix. Lenee says she spent a lot of extra time getting just the right mood and sound quality for each track, experimenting with mike placement, adding and paring down instruments. To save cash, she built her own home studio. "I've put in time to add textures — horns, strings and a broad array of instrumentation," she says. "I want to add simple things that support the mood and don't take away from it."
More than a pretty face: Lenee has studied and mastered classical and jazz guitar. She combines both in her compositions.
Touching story: Her grandmother was dying and a song came to her "all at once," she said. During the gush of inspiration, Lenee looked at the time. It was 6:30 p.m. A phone call later informed her grandmother passed away at that time. The song, Grandma's Song, will be featured on the forthcoming CD.
No guilty pleasures? Lenee says that she imparts positive energy and peace through her songs. It's all about being "peacefully energetic," she says with a smile, and won't admit to any slacker pastimes. Lenee packs her time with creative and enriching tasks such as composing, practicing, doing yoga, pursuing a degree in music at USF and writing poetry.
Hear her: She's performing live on WMNF 88.5-FM from 9-10 a.m. Aug. 1. myspace.com/christieleneemusic.