Born: September 6, 1957 Primary Instrument: Vocal
Lisa Thorson is a popular Boston based jazz vocalist, actress and music educator. She has toured throughout the U.S. and Canada as a concert artist. Lisa has released five jazz recordings as a leader. Her latest release is ‘Out to Sea’, a duo recording with pianist Cho Yoon Seung which is receiving unanimous critical acclaim and international airplay. Michael Nastos hailed . “Resonance” the ‘99 quintet CD on GM Recordings as “one of the very best musical offerings of the year, and an astonishing vocal document of the 90’s”.
Lisa received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from the Boston Conservatory and a Master's Degree in Jazz Vocal Performance from New England Conservatory. She is an Associate Professor in the Voice Department at Berklee College of Music and has taught at New England Conservatory, Longy School of Music and Wellesley College.
Lisa has been nominated Outstanding Jazz Vocalist in the Boston Music Awards, received the Humanitarian Entertainer of the Year Award in 1989 from the Boston Encore Awards for Excellence in Cabaret and was nominated by actress Jane Alexander and received a Living Legacy Award in 1992 from the Women's International Foundation in San Diego, Ca. In 1996 she received an award from the Massachusetts Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities. Lisa is the subject of an award winning documentary 'Key Changes; A Portrait of Lisa Thorson', produced by filmmaker Cindy Marshalll in 1995 and ‘Lisa and Friends’, produced by Virginia Bartlett in 1982. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous public and private foundations.
Lisa has been a leader in the advocacy for full access to the arts for people of all abilities since 1980. She co-founded Next Move Unlimited, one of the first professional theater companies to bring performers with and issues of disability to the stage. She worked for over 15 years as an arts accessibility consultant with the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous non-profit, corporate and public organizations, including five years on the Board of the MA Cultural Council, a state agency.
In addition to her work as a vocal and jazz educator, Lisa’s current projects include, leading her jazz quintet, Boswellmania; A Tribute to the Boswell Sisters and JazzArtSigns; a multi-media, multi-sensory event.