Primary Instrument: Vocalist
LITTLE WARRIOR, Lisa Engelken's highly-anticipated new album is scheduled for release on October 1, 2013!
Lisa has written, arranged & produced all 11 arresting tracks on Little Warrior, that will take you on a journey to the heavens above and back into the depths below, painting an aural chiaroscuro of the soul.
Engelken’s sonic palate colors cacophonous and symphonic, then suddenly strips down naked. Consonance and dissonance interweave, swirl and wrestle for position as her voice alternately cuts raw, soars powerful, or simply floats pristine.
With an uncanny emotional depth and technical fluency, Lisa draws upon the brutality and beauty of the human experience, to explore and embrace her angels and demons. Little Warrior is Engelken’s follow-up to Caravan, named among the “Best of 2010” by the Jazz Journalists Association and includes “From the Earth, Lisa’s exciting lyric version of Freddie Hubbard’s “Red Clay.”
Where Caravan could be described as “mainstream with a twist,” Little Warrior marks a natural evolution of the singer-arranger’s artistic style that ventures into more complex thematic and harmonic territories. Engelken continues to push the boundaries of the jazz vocal canon, making an edgier, more personal statement that includes four of her original works.
Little Warrior also features “Undertow,” Lisa’s haunting new lyric version of Wayne Shorter’s “Nefertiti” and includes bold new adaptations of works by Abbey Lincoln, The Cars, Tom Waits and Joni Mitchell.
Visit www.lisaengelken.com for more info.
LISA ENGELKEN is a force of nature, a fearless singer, a tonic performing artist, with an original compositional & arranging sensibility. Part freight train, part junkyard trombone, ENGELKEN alternately locomotes and floats through tunes.
Jazz critic Christopher Loudon writes in JazzTimes:
She is an utter original. Blessed with superlative power, control and range. Engelken can, as mood requires, be as soft as dew or as intense as a sleet storm; her interpretive instincts are astounding.
—Andrew Gilbert, San Jose Mercury News writes:
Caravan is the work of an artist with her own sound and concept, a daring improviser with the technique to express even her most unorthodox ideas. More than a song stylist, she's a dramatic force whose musical vision is both shaped and animated by years of stage experience.
BOLD, LUSH, EXOTIC, and just a little bit dangerous; like Evel Knievel and Janis Joplin. Like Evel, she is a fearless daredevil, but never reckless, knowing exactly whether her voice can jump through a ring of fire and over 30 elephants—or whether it can go 31. And like Janis, she gives every ounce of herself onstage.”
-Erin Gray, columnist for the Monterey Herald.
ABOUT CARAVAN (2010): Produced & arranged by Lisa, Caravan features 10 of her arrangements: standards, Brazilian, & contemporary tunes adapted to the jazz idiom (e.g., Billy Idol's White Wedding, Joni Mitchell's Trouble Child).
Lisa is grateful to have received FREDDIE HUBBARD's personal review and approval of From the Earth, a new lyric version of the jazz-funk classic Red Clay.
As a jazz vocalist, Engelken is dubbed the “second trumpet” for her horn-like scatting and tonal clarity, careening through a myriad of moods & vocal styles. Lisa, who speaks fluent Italian, spices her repertoire with Portuguese, French, Spanish & Italian.
As a result of her theatrical training, Lisa places strong emphasis on telling the story particular to each song & insists on harmonic arrangements that further convey the song's subtext. Her classical voice training permits her to roller coaster 'round an acrobatic 3-octave range.
Lisa has worked and performed with actor/director John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig & the Angry Inch,Down the Rabbit Hole) doing 4 riotous sold-out shows at the Victoria Theatre. She had previously worked with JCM and composer Stephen Trask on the highly acclaimed SF production of the rock musical HEDWIG & THE ANGRY INCH. Lisa was awarded the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award as Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Yitzhak.
Cutting her teeth in clubs in Italy, Lisa eventually landed in DC to become the notorious front-woman for DC urban lounge sextet the zimmermans- for which she garnered the WAMMIE Award for Best Female Vocalist. She also worked on various theatrical projects and co-founded the velvet lounge quintet Black Olive. She moved to the Bay Area thirteen years ago where she has pursued both musical and theatrical projects.
Lisa has performed at SFJAZZ SummerFest Concert Series, the Fillmore Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival, South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin; North By Northwest (NXNE) in Toronto, New York New Music Festival, and the the Philadelphia Music Conference.
She has appeared at Dazzle Jazz in Denver, The American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, The Knitting Factory, the Bottom Line and the Mercury Lounge in New York; Blues Alley, The Underground Theatre, the 9:30 Club, and The Black Cat in Washington, DC.
Awards:- "Caravan" Named to the Best of 2010 List by the Jazz Journalist Association (Ken Franckling and Christopher Loudon) - Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award: Best Supporting Actress for San Francisco production of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" - WAMMIE award: Best Female Vocalist - MOVA Songwriting Award: Jazz Category
* Dave Bass Quartet, Gone (Dave Bass Music) * Lisa Engelken, Caravan (Little Angel) * Tamir Hendelman, Destinations (Resonance) * Dave Holland Octet, Pathways (Dare2) * Christine Jensen, treelines (Justin Time) * Pat Metheny, Orchestrion (Nonesuch) * Jean-Michel Pilc, True Story (Dreyfus) * Ellen Rowe Quartet, Wishing Well (PKO Records) * Omar Sosa & NDR Bigband, Ceremony (Otá) * Jacky Terrasson, Push (Concord Jazz)
Christopher Loudon of Jazz Times Best New Releases of 2010:
1. Herbie Hancock The Imagine Project (Hancock/Red) 2. José James & Jef Neve For All We Know (Impulse!) 3. Keith Jarrett/Charlie Haden Jasmine (ECM) 4. Cheryl Bentyne The Gershwin Songbook (King/ArtistShare) 5. Gregory Porter Water (Motéma) 6. Milton Suggs Things to Come (Skiptone) 7. Lisa Engelken Caravan (Little Angel) 8. Carolyn Leonhart/Wayne Escoffery Tides of Yesterday (Savant) 9. Hilary Kole You Are There (Justin Time) 10. Nellie McKay Normal as Blueberry Pie: A Tribute to Doris Day (Verve)
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San Francisco, CA
Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students