Singer, producer, and writer Leslie Ball has performed on theater stages and in music clubs around the region and the country - from a summer serving as the Poet Laureate for the St. Paul Chautauqua Festival, to opening for Ellen DeGeneres at the Guthrie Theater, from singing back-up for Gene Pitney at Carnegie Hall and later for the filming of his concert for Connecticut Public Television, to co-writing and starring in the award-winning concert-play Painting It Red at Berkeley Repertory Theater and Pittsburgh's City Theater.
Leslie's first solo recording Loring Park earned her a Minnesota Music Award for best female songwriter. Many musicians, including Helen Reddy and Nick Lowe, have performed and recorded Leslie's material written as part of the critically acclaimed duo Les Rue and rock band Rue Nouveau. She currently performs with bassist Anthony Cox and guitarist Dean Magraw.
In August of 1991, Leslie launched BALLS Cabaret, a weekly experimental stage for artists of any discipline, at any level of experience. BALLS is now in its fifteenth year and continually wins awards as the best open stage in town. BALLS was cited in The New York Times as a "must-see" while in the Twin Cities and the local press often refers to Leslie as "the den mother of the Twin Cities art community." BALLS Cabaret is a welcoming, supportive community where people of all ages can enjoy a sober environment. As someone in recovery herself, Leslie spent more than a decade in the public schools teaching young people struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol. Colleagues described her as the "heart and soul" of their school community, and parents continue to testify to her healing impact in their children's lives. Leslie was awarded the Hawkinson Peace and Justice Award for her work as an artist and educator.
Leslie earned her MFA at New York University's Tisch Graduate School of the Arts in Writing for Music Theater. She earned a Master of Divinity (with a concentration in the arts) at United Theological Seminary. She leads a weekly spiritual circle at Hennepin Church in downtown Minneapolis where she also teaches restorative yoga (called Open Yoga) Leslie is a certified yoga instructor registered with Yoga Alliance; she earned her yoga teacher training at Kripalu and Corepower. She leads retreats in spiritual discernment using yoga, music, poetry and ritual.