Primary Instrument: Vocal
Lisa Kirchner is a singer, songwriter and actress who performs an eclectic, multi-lingual repertoire that includes gems from The Great American Songbook, contemporary and original jazz and blues tunes, the French songs of Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel and Poulenc, and Brazilian tunes from Gaetano Veloco, Luis Bonfa, Chico Buarque, as well as contemporary art and theatre songs.
Lisa Kirchner has appeared at Foxwoods Casino, Ryles Jazz Club and is a regular on the New York City jazz club circuit, appearing at Iridium, Birdland, The Village Gate, 55 Bar, Maxime's, Porters NYC, Orbit, Tatou, Niagara, , Cleopatra's Needle, many other clubs in New York and in Paris. She has been the invited singer to Gracie Mansion on several occasions, and she has performed at the White House, on Capitol Hill, in concert at Harvard University, the Harvard Club and the American Academy in Rome.
Lisa Kirchner's entre into the jazz venue is preceded by her years of experience in theatre and television. She wrote her own songs for her on camera appearances on NBC's Another World. Her varied performance background has included Broadway appearances in the role of Lucy Brown in The Threepenny Opera, opposite Raul Julia and Phil Bosco, and in various featured roles in William Dumaresque and Galt MacDermot's The Human Comedy. Off-Broadway, Ms. Kirchner originated the role of Irma Vep in Richard Foreman and Stanley Silverman's Hotel For Criminals and it's sequel, The American Imagination. She has been featured in numerous off and off-off Broadway productions at the Public Theatre, the Delacorte Theatre, La Mama Theatre and annex, Westbeth and The American Place Theatre. On television she was geatured in productions on BRAVO Cable and WNET's Great Performances. As a dancer she appeared in Grover Dale's Houdini, and with the James Waring Dance Company at Judson Memorial Church.
Lisa Kirchner was Judy Collins' featured soloist at Carnegie Hall, and she has appeared singing harmony vocals with Ms. Collins at the Wheeler Opera house, The Greek Theatre. Wolftrap, and the Roxie, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Joan Rivers, CBS This Morning and ShowTime, and recordings include Sanity and Grace, and Fires of Eden.
Lisa's albums One More Rhyme, and When Lights Are Low her solo album on Albany Records has garnered high praise from jazz critics and musical colleagues, and have aired in the US and France. Her current CD, In the Shadow of a Crow will be released on Marach 1, 2008. Lisa Kirchner is the daughter of the composer Leon Kirchner, winner of a 1967 Pulitzer Prize, and a 1999 Grammy award.
Looking at the cover of When Lights Are Low (Albany) and admiring Lisa Kirchner's all-American elegance, you expect to hear lady-like delicacies done up with vanilla frosting. Instead, out pours this astonishing mix of ash and gravel that combines the talk-sing sophistication of Mabel Mercer with the gutsy appeal of Dee Dee Bridgewater. Kirchner's rusty world-weariness borrows liberally from Billie Holiday, especially on her dusky You Don't Know What Love Is and gently bruised Angel Eyes. Her Manha de Carnival, at once mistily reflective and coolly satiated, is sumptuously good. So, too, is a skillfully tempered, I Concentrate on You that simmers with unfulfilled desire. The biggest surprise though, is a vibrant reading of Livingston and Evans' somewhat obscure The Ruby and the Pearl, imbued with that unique sort of cabaret theatricality that defined Mercer's incomparability.
- Christopher Loudon- JazzTimes
There isn’t a more articulate interpreter of standards singing today. Lisa Kirchner again delivers another quality project, chock full of timeless, enduring classics and uncovered gems….and in the process, assuring her place as the millennium’s first true renaissance woman. If you appreciate the human voice and what it can do to The Great American Songbook, pick up a copy of “When Lights Are Low.”
-Joe Zupan WICN FM 90.5 Massachussetts
When Lights Are Low is a marvelous journey through the Great American Songbook by one of today's most talented and gifted singers. I know my many listeners will be delighted to hear these classic standards performed with such taste and refinement. Lisa's interpretations are further enhanced by a marvelous quartet
- Ron Della Chiesa, WGBH, MA
Lisa Kirchner's latest collection fits all seasons of the heart. During the very first listening one moves easily to the soul-light flowing in. And you keep going back again and again- finding yourself pleasantly pinned inside a wall of exquisite and beguiling sounds. For sometime now her imagination has been looking for secrets. Now, with a soul that has been working overtime, she has found them. And another star is born.
- Gordon Parks
Her voice is unique in the manner that Eartha Kitt and Dinah Washington are instantly identifiable. In the company of a fine jazz quartet, the singer is confident and relaxed. Lisa Kirchner's version of the Victor Young classic (Street of Dreams) is a wonderful throbbing treatment that's very easy to take. The mellow mood is unbroken when Lisa and pianist, Xavier Davis offer a fabulous rendition of You Don't Know What Love Is. ..Luiz Bonfa's Manha de Carnival gets royal treatment when the vocalist exhibits her skills in Portuguese. You've Changed receives the most discerning treatment I've heard in recent years. a sensitive artist in an intimate performance. Lisa Kirchner is an eloquent voice in the night.
While the art of singing is built on the greatness of the past, it is refreshing and exciting to hear a new artist like Lisa Kirchner. She joins a select group with this CD.
- Bernard Brightman/Stash Records
Lisa Kirchner's new album is gorgeous, rhythmic, classy and just right for when the lights are low, or for that matter almost any other time you want to listen to some great music.
-Barry Gaston KMUW Radio Kansas.
This wonderful effort reflects Lisa Kirchner's talent, taste and heartfelt love for the music. Its truly a pleasurable listening experience!
- Masani- Georgia Public Radio, GA
Lisa Kirchner: How can one individual have SO MUCH talent. Sings, dances, acts - and all well. From the strength of Ethel Merman to the quiet passion of Sarah Vaughan, Lisa does it all. In several languges to boot. Latin rhythms, swingers, broken hearted passion - all come so naturally to this multi-talented young lady who puts her heart in everything she does.
-Tom Phillips, THE SOUNDS OF JAZZ & JAZZ NEWS MAGAZINE
It has a bright, upbeat and beautiful sound.
-Linda Yohn WEMU
ONE MORE RHYME
You must take the time to hear One More Rhyme. The selections are as varied as Lisa's background and musical influences. And she's assembled a group of well-seasoned veterans to accompany her. I have to restrain from playing it everyday.
- Joe Zuppan- WICN Public Radio-90.5 FM-Massachussetts
...subtle renditions... novel interpretation... vocal magic... The singer's view of All or Nothing at All, includes a slight Latin beat and matches performances of this song by such geniuses of the vocal arts as Sarah Vaughan, Chris Connor and June Christy. But it's the sensitivity to music and lyrics and the way she works with her sidemen that brings her version to the level of these other singers... strong evidence of formidable musical genes... One More Rhyme is highly recommended.
- Dave Nathan- All Music Guide, All About Jazz
...magnetic vocal style... captivating... Alan Bargabuhr- Cadence Magazine
Lisa Kirchner... a voice of the night... beautiful and sultry phrasings... Singing in English, Portuguese and near flawless French, Ms. Kirchner takes the listener on a journey through the songs of the Americas and Europe in a delightful way. From Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke's 'But Beautiful' to Henri Contet's 'Padam, Padam', the singer commands the listener's attention. I especially appreciated her sensitive rendition of Jacques Brel's unforgettable Ne Me Quitte Pas (Don't Leave Me). I really enjoyed this CD and recommend it to those who share my taste for jazz with an international flavor.
- Richard Bourcier, Jazz At a Glance
Lisa's voice is clear, soft, serene, and at the same time powerful. Seamless segues from English to French to Portuguese vividly display her artistry in telling a musical story in a variety of languages. Exudes a bundle of charm. A delicious album
- Al Monroe- WNTI-91.9 FM- New Jersey
Lisa ...sings (lyrics)... as though the composer had written them for her only. A marvelous talent from super genes
- Art Hellyer- WJOL- Illinois
Lisa Kirchner- One of the nicer vocal presentations I've heard this year. I like this album better than some of the 'big names' that have had releases recently. Sultry voice and engaging inflections- definitely has her own 'voice' which I like to hear
- Dr. Brad Stone- KKUP-FM- California
An example of real class- the voice, the approach and the accompaniment. American Culture- Here it is!
- Jack Simpson- Jazz on the Beach- Florida
Lisa wrote two of the songs on her new CD and she does a nice job mixing in some standards... Mercer's 'Autumn Leaves' and 'All or Nothing At All' ...Nicely arranged and produced. Wait until you hear 'Red Sails'
- Jim Stone- Big Band Swing WLNZ 89.7 FM- Michigan
A wonderful CD, the selections and the beautiful way you interpret this music... your sound is very beautiful to listen to... I was very impressed with it... very nice choice of material and beautifully performed
- Ron Della Chiesa- WGHB 89.7 FM- Massachussetts
“Endowed with all talents, if one can believe the booklet, LISA Kirchner, actress, dancer, lyricist, singer, titles with Beny Carter’s famous When Lights Are Low her second album “en quartet” for Albany Records. Contrary to many of her female colleagues who have been pushed by avid promoters, LISA Kirchner having played the most noted United States venues, sings in tune. Something not so frequent as one might believe. Subscribing to the tradition of the great vocalists or... luminaries, LISA Kirchner is markedly influenced by the last of these, Billie Holiday, as well by the timbre of her voice as by the repertoire. But she does not stop there- grand mystery- bringing a touch of “orientalite” which is completely surprising, never invasive, and expressive of a nostalgia most definitively expressed in the treatment she gives to All The Pretty Little Horses one of the many folk tunes added to every mix.
Add finally that she is accompanied soberly but effectively, as it should be, by a good quartet whose solos remain perfectly within the tone of the album. If Miss Kirchner does not revolutionize the vocal art and if she is not the new Diva that it is promised to us at the very least each morning to the tune of aggrandizing journalistic excesses, it certainly remains no less true than that this album, composed exclusively of standards, is listened to with much pleasure.” - Jacques Talb- Jazz Hot/Paris
“Here a singer, who has presence, a remarkable voice, who chooses her songs well, who selects good musicians…. Coracao Vagabondo/Berimbao (le “Ce n’est que de l’eau” de Claude Nougaro ) The voice is beautiful, a little tart and the bossa, in Portuguese, that she offers us is entirely different than that we already know, it is very good. Let’s take But Beautiful, she sings it in rumba, accompanied along with the rest, by a guitar that’s very Carlos Jobim, that of Ron Jackson, it’s impeccable. Let’s take Dez Anos, backed up by the superb accordion playing of Walter Kuehr, it is touching. She can have an acerbic voice (Blue by the River), but can plunge in the low register, for example on Joana Francesa, a beautiful text in franco-portuguese, or take off into the very intense (Danced da Solidao) It’s superb. She can sing nostalgic ballades (One More Rhyme) as she can transform a straight out standard (All gold Nothing At All.) She can emphasize a song and give it content and an undeniable jazz form as in Red Sails particularly successful, and a splendid end to close CD... - Michel Bedin- JazzHot/Paris
“When Lights Are Low is second CD of the singer LISA Kirchner, which follows One More Rhythm of which we had celebrated the praises in these same columns. Accompanied by her quartet piano-bass-drums-guitar, LISA Kirchner gives us other everlasting standards on which she can improvise at leisure, just like her musicians. Ron Jackson is romantic in intention, just as she is with something fragile and plaintiff in her voice (Angel Eyes, Love for Sale, You Don' T Know What Love Is). In particular one is bound to remember You' ve Changed where she captures the refrain entirely in the spirit of the great Billie, but with variations added. The guitarist comments movingly along with the pianist Xavier Davis. With this CD, LISA Kirchner gives us a beautiful example of her talent and her sensitivity.” Michel Bedin- JazzHot/Paris
Like all true singers of song, Lisa takes her vocal expertise for granted and concentrates entirely upon the text. Every nuance of the words- each twist and turn and lilt and sob and smile- contains, and expresses, the experience of She Who Was There. She performs from the inside out. Prima la parola... Whatever the language- English, Spanish, Portuguese, French (or, rather, Parisian), Provencal- the shading seems inevitable, and the diction flawless. Lisa has manners but no mannerisms: she sings less about having been in love than because she was in love. Her repertory is unhackneyed and tasteful and mostly very poignant. I am a fan because there is nobody like her in our loud crass vulgar milieu of music, and because she knows what she's doing and how to do it.
- Ned Rorem
Lisa Kirchner's sultry way with a song is very winning... A wonderful album.
- Ruth Laredo
Lisa finds that subterranean tone in her voice and in the song that raises pop singing to an art.
- Galt MacDermot
It is beautiful to hear Lisa Kirchner's singing which is so very musical, genuine and touching... a lovely album.
- Peter Serkin
Lilting, lyrical and lush, the voice of Lisa Kirchner thrills, soothes and delights. Her new album, One More Rhyme, of unusual and beautiful songs, is a definite winner.
- Judy Collins
Lisa Kirchner is that rare phenomenon of the consummate performer whose artistry is world-class. Unforgettable is her unique sound and the manner of her musical presentation. Like a magnet, she draws the listener into the complete compass of what it means to be a human being from our most earthy elements to the sublime. Her voice says it all as she uses her extraordinary gifts in the service of the music she is singing. Listening to Lisa Kirchner is an experience not to be missed.
- Luise Vosgerchian, Harvard University
the French songs defy explanation when it comes to intensity and emotion... Her renditions of 'Ne Me Quitte Pas' and 'Jessie' may be the most heart-wrenching ever
- Electronic Link Journey
this smoky torcher with the mane of red hair is absorbing... an intense singer
a formidable interpreter -Amsterdam News
she's got striking range with the ability to emote rage, loss or longing in equally convincing measure... Her covers of 'Dansa da Solidao' and 'Padam, Padam' were especially vibrant with Kirchner using her arms, torso and face eloquently to embody the passion in the music... Kirchner is a singer who can galvanize the stage both vocally and physically...
- Koroly's Cabaret Corner
a sexy chanteuse... very much her own woman
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