All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Lisa Rich

Lisa Rich Lisa Rich

Lisa Rich was one of the most promising jazz artists of the 1980s, an adventurous jazz singer with a very attractive voice. When bad health knocked her out of action in 1991, putting a stop to her performing career, Lisa became a well-respected and influential vocal teacher. But now, several decades later with the release of her previously unheard and superb third album, 1987’s Highwire, she is poised for a comeback.

Growing up in Baltimore, she remembers, “My Dad played many records by jazz singers (his favorite was June Christy), along with Duke Ellington and classical music. I was really attracted to the vocalists from an early age, When I was eight I started piano lessons and at 13 I got my first guitar. I put together a little group and we used to play at parties singing folk music.”

Attending the University of Maryland was a bit frustrating for Lisa because they did not have any jazz classes, only teaching classical music. “I met Melissa Manchester during a visit to New York and she said that if I moved up there, she would introduce me to her singing and theory teachers and that her husband would help me get gigs. I did that and got the education that I couldn’t get at school where they were ruining my voice!”

For a time, Lisa performed rock in a traveling show band as a backup singer and dancer. “The guy who led the group did not want to do the opening shows, just the two main sets. Because of that, I had a chance to work with a wonderful jazz trio. I discovered that jazz was what I was meant to do and that it was the music where my voice really sounded at its best.” Soon she got off the road, studied jazz, picked up valuable experiences, and made her first record, Listen Here. “I did not want to sing a lot of standards because I thought my forte was picking out unusual songs such as those by Dave Frishberg, Bob Dorough and the type of ballads recorded by Irene Kral and Alan Broadbent.” She used her working band for Listen Here, recorded all of the music in six hours, and put it out on her own label. It sold well.

Read more

Tags

“She has often been billed as a cool jazz singer, citing early Miles Davis ballads as a principal influence, but her rich repertory includes many genres. Lisa Rich, an internationally known performer—also seen in area clubs such as Blues Alley and an acclaimed recording artist—is a native Washingtonian of whom the city can be proud. Lisa Rich shares her singing technique and artistic insights with class members, offering a rare glimpse of the professional world and a chance to learn insiders' secrets. Class members study a rich repertory of songs ranging from those of both the great masters and unknown composers to Broadway tunes and classics in various popular genres including jazz

Read more

Jay Clayton Jay Clayton
voice / vocals
Clare Fischer Clare Fischer
band/orchestra
Irene Kral Irene Kral
voice / vocals
Mark Murphy Mark Murphy
voice / vocals
Sarah Vaughan Sarah Vaughan
voice / vocals
Leonard Bernstein Leonard Bernstein
composer/conductor

Photos

Albums

Album Highwire by Lisa Rich

Highwire

Tritone Records
2019

buy
Album Touch Of The Rare by Lisa Rich

Touch Of The Rare

Trend Records
1985

buy
Album Listen Here by Lisa Rich

Listen Here

Tritone Records
1984

buy

Watch

Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.