Lisa Maxwell's Jazz Orchestra

Instrument: Composer/conductor | Location: New York City

Lisa Maxwell is going to surprise a lot of people with her music! I’m thrilled to be a part!
—Will Lee

Updated: September 14, 2019

Born: July 21

Lisa Maxwell has composed, arranged, orchestrated, produced, and conducted music for small combos, horn sections, strings, big band and full orchestra. Part of the Emmy Award-winning music team for Warner Bros., Lisa was an orchestrator on all 52 episodes of Histeria! animated series, and Animaniacs: Wakko's Wish feature film. Her original music has been licensed for TV shows including: Sons of Anarchy, Person of Interest, Dexter, Burn Notice, Four Weddings, Gravity. Currently, Lisa is preparing to release her debut big band album, Shiny! Dedicated to legendary trumpeter Lew Soloff, it features Randy Brecker and an all-star band playing her charts.

As a sax player, Lisa led the horn sections on the Guns 'n' Roses Use Your Illusion world tour and Spinal Tap tour. She has also performed with the Machito Big Band, Gil Evans Orchestra, Charlie Haden, Tony Scott, Hiram Bullock, Will Lee, Steven Tyler, Lenny Kravitz, Carole King, Bruce Willis Band, Chuck Berry, Smokey Hormel, Chester Whitmore, The Joni Mitchell Project, Fox TV's “Sibs” and “Phenom” (James Brooks) live studio bands, “Duckman” cartoon, the MTV Awards, and the National Association of Songwriters Awards shows.

Born in Los Angeles, Lisa started playing piano at age 6. At 15, she switched briefly to 5-string banjo, and finally settled on the saxophone. At 17, she took a film scoring class at UCLA and realized she wanted to write music for lots of instruments. Trumpeter Ray Copeland taught her jazz arranging, and Charlie Haden let her sit in on his classes at Cal Arts. Lisa attended Manhattan School of Music to study saxophone with Joe Allard, and spent most nights in clubs, where she met her musical heroes. Lisa returned to L.A. to study composing and arranging with Dick Grove in Studio City; and then won the Quincy Jones Arranging Scholarship to Berklee College of Music, where Herb Pomeroy taught her Duke Ellington's nuanced line-writing techniques.

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“FOUR STARS! A striking record–one that might be overdue, given its quality.” – DownBeat Magazine

Midwest Record, 4/22/19, by Chris Spector: LISA MAXWELL’S JAZZ ORCHESTRA/Shiny: A different kind of tribute album. This is dedicated to Lew Soloff because he kept pushing Maxwell to record a set of her own compositions and arrangements. Then he dropped dead before they could do it. As a result, every triple scale New York jazzbo showed up to leave fingerprints on this set that are anything but smudges. Delivering hits to all fields, Maxwell sheds any doubt about whether she’s ready for the big time on her own

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