Cleary Celebrates Black History Month With Leslie Odom, Jr.

February 25, 2021

Cleary Gottlieb hosted its Black History Month celebration, The Artist as Activist: A Conversation With Leslie Odom, Jr., Tony and Grammy award-winning artist and Emmy-nominated actor.

Over 540 participants attended the virtual event featuring the artist. Managing Partner Michael Gerstenzang delivered welcome remarks, and partner Jamal Fulton moderated the discussion.

Leslie discussed his life and career as a breakout artist, which includes work on Broadway, television, and music. Best known for his Tony and Grammy award-winning role as Aaron Burr in the hit Broadway musical, Hamilton, he made his Broadway debut in RENT at the age of 17. In December 2017, Leslie returned to the New York City stage in a solo concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center, which was filmed for broadcast as an hour-long PBS special as part of the 17-time Emmy Award-winning series, Live from Lincoln Center, and premiered in April 2018.

The Grammy Award-winning artist recently released his second holiday recording, The Christmas Album, which follows the release of Mr, his third album and first of all-original material.

Leslie currently appears in the film adaptation of the Olivier Award-nominated play One Night in Miami, directed by Regina King, in which he portrays and performs the songs of legendary singer Sam Cooke and was enlisted to write and perform the original song, “Speak Now.” He can also be heard voicing the character Owen Tillerman in the Apple TV+ animated musical-comedy series Central Park, for which he received an Emmy nomination, as well as in the filmed performance of the original Broadway production of Hamilton on Disney+.

His upcoming projects include Needle in a Timestack, written and directed by John Ridley; and next spring he will star in The Many Saints of Newark, a prequel to David Chase’s award-winning HBO series, The Sopranos. Additional film and television credits include the limited series Love in the Time of Corona in which he co-starred opposite Nicolette Robinson and produced, Harriet, Murder on the Orient Express, Only, Red Tails, and Smash.

Cleary is committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. The firm regularly hosts important cultural events and guest speakers whose presentations afford opportunities to broaden awareness, heighten the level of discussion, and establish a culture of inclusion at the firm. To learn more about Cleary’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, click here.