Zardis is a New Orleans native having grown up in Treme. Born Lynell Williams, Zardis adopted her family
name as homage to her grand uncle, New Orleans’ own legend, bassist Chester Zardis. Her early musical
training began in classical music, with some of the city’s finest teachers, Audrey Bouligny and Nelson Francis.
In her teen years she moved to Los Angeles and started performing with the Don Johnson Orchestra doing
mostly R&B, and opening for such acts as Solomon Burke, Joe Simon and others. After a long stint performing
in and around Los Angeles and training at the Dick Grove Workshop and with Seth Riggs, Zardis took a hiatus
and came back as a jazz artist. She was fortunate to have the mentorship of such jazz legends as Billy Higgins,
Dini Clarke, Horace Silver, and Barry Harris. As a solo artist, she teamed up with Herb Mickman, former music
director for such artists as Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Bill Henderson, and Carmen McCrae,
to name a few. Zardis has performed at world renown venues, including The Jazz Bakery, The Cinegrill,
Wilshire Ebell Theatre, and Billy Higgins’ “The World Stage” and most jazz clubs in and around the Los
Angeles area. She was voted one of L.A.’s top ten female jazz vocalists by The Amassi Center. During this time
she performed at the Healdsburg Jazz Festival & traveled to Europe to study in Den Haag, Netherlands under
the tutelage of Barry Harris at the Royal Conservatory of Music. This culminated in solo performances and a
concert performance with the jazz and praise group Radiant Voices. Zardis was also featured as a soloist with
the master harmony group Sing, Sing, Sing. She returned to New Orleans in 2002, and eventually became
vocalist for the Delgado Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Peter Cho.
Zardis was awarded Outstanding Musicianship for her performance with Delgado Jazz Ensemble by Loyola
University Jazz Fest, and recently made her New Orleans debut with her show, “Outta My Mind” at People’s
Health New Orleans Jazz Market, with a mixture of jazz and blues.
Her latest show “Rendre’ Hommage a’ Nina Simone” was a stunning tribute to the legendary icon who will be
inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, class of 2018. Zardis put her own stamp on some of the songs
made popular by Nina Simone. The multimedia event was well received, and the sold out performance
received rave reviews.
Zardis is looking forward to more upcoming performances in her hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana, and
around the globe.