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Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein)

LISA B (LISA BERNSTEIN) is a jazz singer and songwriter as well as a widely published poet and spoken word performer.

On "I Get A Kick: Cole Porter Reimagined," her sixth CD as a leader, out Jan. 2018 from Jazzed Media, she applies her vocal gifts and poetic prowess to fresh interpretations of ten tunes by Cole Porter, one of the finest of the lyricists and composers (unconventionally, he was both) who created the Great American Songbook.

According to Lisa B, “My five previous CDs were largely original music, and it was time to tackle the works of another songwriter. I was always drawn to Cole Porter’s writing, and I’ve been singing his tunes in my live performances for years. In his lyrics and his shifting, major-to-minor harmonies, you can hear a dual nature. He was both an outsider and a high society partygoer, a gay man in a closeted era, a breezy wit with perfectly crafted lyrics who also could express powerful longing and sadness. I guess I’m attracted to these tensions – his suffering soul, and his charm.”

Lisa B chose to record ten songs Porter composed for stage and screen between 1929 and 1954. Although many jazz singers have sung and recorded Porter’s tunes, Lisa B set out to present them in adventurous ways while still hewing to the essences of the lyrics and music. In the 1950s, some poets gave public readings accompanied by jazz music. Lisa B turns that paradigm on its head. On several tunes, she adds her own spoken word passages to jazz renditions of Porter’s tunes, creating a genre-bending, multi-dimensional effect.

It was important for Lisa B to work with musicians who are particularly attuned to lyrics and vocal performance, so she invited some of the top San Francisco Bay Area players with these affinities to join her. Chief among them is James (Jim) Gardiner, who has garnered two Grammy nominations and 42 gold and platinum designations. Gardiner is Lisa B’s long-time collaborator, co-producer, co-arranger, and engineer, having worked with her on her five previous recordings.

The other musicians are Ben Flint and Frank Martin (keyboard), Fred Randolph and Troy Lampkins (bass), Jeff Marrs, Alan Hall, and Paul Van Wageningen (drums), Michael Zilber (tenor and soprano sax), and John Santos (percussion), all busy touring artists with international reputations.

"I Get A Kick: Cole Porter Reimagined" is stylistically diverse, offering a new arrangement of each song spanning bebop, beguine, bossa, ballads, sultry funk, and more. As for the lyrics, each tune includes almost all of Cole Porter’s words, from the introductory verses to the choruses to the once-censored parts. Plus, Lisa B adds her original improvised vocalese on two tracks and spoken word segments on three others.

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“A singer, spoken-word artist and poet with an incisive way of chronicling situations, memories, and emotions… a pliable, expressive voice dipped in blue… saucily suggestive… imagistic.” – Jazz Times

“Lisa Bernstein's mix of spoken word poetry...and passionate jazzy, high-register vocalizing is …hard to resist.” - All Music Guide

“Great pipes...talented songwriter.” - Jazziz

“Sultry and witty... Her own songs are fun and sexy, and she brings a fresh voice to well-known songs.” – Soundstage.com

“She totally captivated the audience. She is an originator, her arrangements are mesmerizing, and her band is great!” - Gary Hamada, Jazz and Blues Company Concert Manager/KRML-FM

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Primary Instrument

Voice / vocals



Clinic/Workshop Information

Mind-Body-Spirit Tools to Increase Confidence, Clarity, and Joy: for Performers and Recording Artists Learn simple, powerful mind-body-spirit tools to use during practice, performance, and recording projects! Lisa B will give an overview of the energy anatomy and its relationship to the physical body and will show musicians and singers how to productively work and play with specific energy tools. She will teach you how to use these to feel more grounded, free, and confident on stage and during practice; connect with your original enthusiasm for making music; gain freer access to your physical instrument; release mental, emotional, and even physical pain; let go of negative outside influences and outdated programming; and confidently visualize and plan project and career outcomes.

Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

I Am an Orchestra: A...

Piece of Pie Records


I Get A Kick: Cole...

Jazzed Media


Christmas Time Is...

Piece of Pie Records


The Poetry of Groove

Piece of Pie Records


What's New, Pussycat?

Piece of Pie Records


I Am an Orchestra: A Tribute to Cecil Taylor

From: I Am an Orchestra: A Tribute to...
By Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein)


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