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Genres You Will Love
Moods: Solo Female Artist Spoken Word: Poetry Jazz: Jazz Vocals Urban/R&B: Soul Hip-Hop/Rap: Alternative Hip Hop

By Location
United States - California - SF United States - United States


Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein)

Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein) was raised in New York and Northern California in a book- and music-filled home, where as a child she knew such friends of her parents as saxophone master Jackie McLean and the Art Ensemble of Chicago.

She was inspired by jazz, soul, pop, rock, and show tunes. She studied classical piano from elementary school to high school and wrote songs and stories. She also wrote and studied poetry seriously since her teens, going on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in creative writing/literature.

Two books of her poetry have been published, the chapbook Anorexia (Five Fingers Poetry) and The Transparent Body (Wesleyan University Press). Her poems have appeared in more than 60 literary magazines and anthologies. She has received grants and residencies from the National Endowment for the Arts, Headlands Center for the Arts, Ucross Foundation, Barbara Deming Memorial Fund/Money for Women, and Puffin Foundation.

Lisa B’s many public poetry readings in the San Francisco Bay Area evolved into performances. One was a two-night, sold-out piece at the leading experimental theatre The Lab that included dancers and live music.

Lisa B then began to focus on songwriting, singing, and music, studying first at the Blue Bear School of Music, then with renowned Bay Area vocal coach Jane Sharp. Lisa was soon gigging frequently, performing jazz and selected pop standards along with her own compositions. She has since performed at more than 80 clubs, performance spaces, colleges, bookstores, and radio stations in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and New York.

While often composing lyrics and music on her own, Lisa B enjoys collaborating with musicians, including singer-pianist Barbara Higbie (Windham Hill, women’s music); Latin jazz trombonist-arranger Wayne Wallace (Patois Records); and her longtime cowriter-producer-engineer, Jim (James) Gardiner (whose credits include Deniece Williams, Digital Underground, En Vogue, E-40, John Lee Hooker Jr., Pharoah Sanders, Rickie Lee Jones, David Grisman, the Seattle Symphony, numerous soundtracks and video games, and much more).

Lisa B also applies her spirit of inventive collaboration to existing compositions: Cole Porter's “Night and Day” merged with Lisa's magical poetic rap “The Cat Goddess”; “Joe Williams Died Walking” performed with “Every Day I Have the Blues”; Bobby Caldwell’s “What You Won’t Do for Love” with new poetic rap; and Lisa B’s heartrending poem “Trane’s Ride” performed with Coltrane’s “Naima.”

Over the course of her five full-length CD releases, she has shown an unmatched poetic presence and increasing vocal chops and expressiveness, culminating in 2011's holiday release "Christmas Time Is Here (and Chanukah and the Solstice)."