Elise Witt | Love Being Here

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Folk: Modern Folk World: Western European Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Love Being Here

by Elise Witt

Lincoln Center's producer called her "the honey voiced Atlanta songwriter who sings the world." Born in Switzerland, raised in NC, and currently living in Atlanta, Elise calls her music "Global, Local & Homemade Songs."
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I Love Being Here With You
Elise Witt
3:23 $0.99
2. You Know
Elise Witt
3:58 $0.99
3. Dicitencello Vuje
Elise Witt
5:00 $0.99
4. Una Nuova Armonia
Elise Witt
3:40 $0.99
5. Mimosa Time
Elise Witt
3:56 $0.99
6. The Farmer & The Gypsy
Elise Witt
2:58 $0.99
7. You Got Me
Elise Witt & MIck Kinney
4:08 $0.99
8. Si Tú Supieras
Elise Witt
3:36 $0.99
9. Manha de Carnaval
Elise Witt
4:32 $0.99
10. La Vie en Rose
Elise Witt
3:57 $0.99
11. Un Día Antes
Elise Witt
4:09 $0.99
12. Looking for Ways to Disappear
Elise Witt
3:34 $0.99
13. Singen Macht Alles Gut
Elise Witt
2:45 $0.99
14. You're My Dish
Elise Witt
3:25 $0.99
15. Bonne Nuit Lullaby
Elise Witt
2:59 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The producer of the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage says "Elise is a performer to remember with international savvy & personal charm." And the Georgia Council for the Arts says," Elise is a state treasure, and we are so proud to support her and her work."
Elise Witt was born in Switzerland, raised in North Carolina, and since 1977 has made her home in Atlanta. She speaks five languages fluently and sings in at least a dozen more. She has sung everywhere from New York's Carnegie Hall and Nashville's Bluebird Café to the Jinotepe Harvest Festival in Nicaragua, the Popular Music Festival in Siena Italy, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. Elise was chosen to represent the state of Georgia for the Kennedy Center's 25th Anniversary, and she recently returned from a cultural exchange in South Africa.
Elise's music has been broadcast on radio and television around the world. Elise is also a composer/lyricist of note. Her song "Open the Window," inspired by a Georgia Sea Islands Spiritual, has just been published in the new Unitarian Hymnal, and has been translated into many languages. Her newest recording, LOVE BEING HERE was praised as "fabulously diverse, heartfelt, and beautiful."
Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival described Elise's performance as "a really delightful concert from the honey voiced Atlanta songwriter who sings the world." In addition to performing and recording, Elise has created a reputation as a masterful singing teacher, both for adults and children, encouraging even the most shy singers to revel in their voices and join with others to create joyful choruses. Her "Singing For Fun" classes in Atlanta have become legendary and her workshops and community residencies around the country and abroad draw and inspire both professional singers and self-professed "non-singers." She is Coordinator of "Sing & Swing" week for the Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College. http://www.swangathering.org and has taught workshops and classes around the U.S. - Common Ground in Westminster MD, Virginia Tech University in Blackburg VA, The School for International Training in Brattleboro VT, Big Apple Circus Clown Care, Common Woman Chorus in Durham NC- and internationally - University of Biel Switzerland, Casa per la Pace in San Gimignano Italy, Centro de Cultur Popular in Matagalpa Nicaragua, and aboard the Universe Explorer educational ship sailing through the Panama Canal.



to write a review

Gillian Renault, Los Angeles News

" Elise is an artistic adventurer, a musical romantic, a world traveler and ling
Atlanta-based Elise Witt isn’t content simply to write and sing songs; she wears her heart on her sleeve and tells us what she believes with every word, every intelligent note. You could say that about most folk singers, but I don’t know anyone before who has invoked philosopher-monk Thich Nat Hahn in an up-tempo contemplation on death (“Looking for Ways to Disappear” accompanied by L.A. Tuten’s electric bass and Bobby Lee Rogers’ slide guitar), or dared to improvise on a beautifully complex poem by Brazilian Carlos Schroeder (“Un Dia Antes”). Both appear on her ninth and newest CD, “Love Being Here.”

Anyone who listens closely to this CD will know by the end of the 15th and final song that Elise is an artistic adventurer, a musical romantic, a world traveler and linguist, thinker, mover and agent for change.  There’s a lovely edge to this collection, like falling over the cliff just to see what’s there. What Elise finds is all positive; she’s too much in love with life to ever sing the blues.

Compared with her past CDs, this one includes more jazz and world music and her classically-trained voice enjoys the challenge. Who can resist the line “I’d love to kiss your dancing toes” in Elise’s rendering of Peggy Lee’s “I Love Being Here with You” (yes, that Peggy Lee,) and her fun, tongue-twisting jazz duet with frequent collaborator Mick Kinney in his composition “You Got Me.” You have to hear Elise and Mick play with the lyrics to understand that the words rodeo yodeling, Mnemosene, and possum really do all belong in the same song.  Elise’s composition “You Know” is more jazz than folk too, with Jez Graham’s piano setting the pace.

The thoughtful organization of the material means that the classic jazz of Fats Waller’s “You’re My Dish” doesn’t sound out of place on the same CD as the familiar “Black Orpheus” theme and Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose,” which Elise strips down to its melodic essentials, (accompanied by Renato Pompilio on guitar) with none of Piaf’s affectations.

Elise seems most at home when singing in romance languages such as French and Spanish (the supremely romantic tango “Si Tu Supieras”), Portuguese and Italian (her own heart-felt “Una Nuova Armonia” and Enzo Fusco’s “Dicetencello Vuje” about a Cyrano de Bergerac-style courting custom). There’s German too. Her poignant rendering of “Singen Macht Alles Gut,” with Takana Miyamoto on piano, stands nicely on its own, but read the liner notes to get the full story – and more insight into why Elise sings. Here in the States we think of world music as something beyond U.S. borders, but Elise’s gentle composition “Mimosa Time” is a sweet reminder that the South, too, is its own country with music the world can enjoy.

A talented family of musicians joins Elise on this CD including Maurice Turner, Don Erdman (both superb on “I Love Being Here With You” and “You’re My Dish”), Scott Douglas, Beverly Botsford (exotic percussion), Daniel Brown, Rodger French and many others.

Vic Heyman, Sing Out magazine

"rich and diverse"
Atlanta based Elise Witt takes her time between albums, her last being the sterling "Open The Window" in 1997. There are good reasons for that. She carefully hones each song, whether sung in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, or German. More than half of the 15 cuts are her own composition, while others are from her international repertoire like "La Vie en Rose," a Brazilian move theme, an Italian song, or a Cuban tango. Some are jazzy, some are smoky, some are solo while others have strong supporting vocals. 

The instrumental accompaniment is as rich and diverse as the vocals, styles and lyrics. Piano, accordion, guitar, drum kit, tenor sax, congas, acoustic bass, trumpet, kalimba, 'mbira, and a host of other instruments appear as needed and then fade away. Never overpowering, they are as subtle seasoning in a good stew.

Elise's alto voice is clear and charming, her lyrics are enunciated with crystal clarity. Frequently there is a playful character to her vocals, as if there were subtle jokes hidden away for the audience to find them. She carefully delivers each song, never overpowering the song.

Elise spends most of her time educating students from Kindergarten to college. I suspect she spends most of the rest of her time educating her audiences on how diverse one performer can be in delivering an evenings entertainment. Recommended!