Home » Jazz Musicians » Lisa Kelly

Lisa Kelly

Lisa Kelly’s truly sings from the jazz tradition, classic to modern: it's great vocalists, horn players and bands, with influences that include Ella, Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee, Carmen McCrae, Diana Krall, Dianne Reeves, Satchmo, Freddy Hubbard, Clark Terry, the Count Basie Band to Maria Schneider. Lisa's signature sound and seasoned style has earned her many ardent listeners, drawn to her rich vocal timbre and impeccable phrasing in a relaxed, inviting style, and sophisticated stage presence. She conveys am intimate depth of lyric with a horn-like approach to improvisation and a solid ‘in the pocket’ swing feel, artfully creating superb musical lines much noticed by the instrumentalists. From jazz clubs to major festivals, small groups to big bands, the Classic American Songbook to Modern Jazz, Lisa Kelly has established herself among the continued legacy of true jazz vocal song stylists.

With both B.M. and M.M. Degrees in Jazz Studies from the University of North Florida School of Music, Lisa studied with legendary jazz artist/educators, including saxophonist Bunky Green and guitarist Jack Petersen. As vocalist with the UNF JE 1 big band, she was featured on 4 highly recognized UNF CD recordings. She won an unprecedented 8 “DownBeat Magazine Student Awards” (6 vocal, 1 original composition, 1 small group arrangement) and was the 2000 vocal winning member of the esteemed “IAJE Sisters In Jazz Combo,” performing at the IAJE Convention in New Orleans, the Mary Lou William's Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center, “Festival Vien,” and the Vienna State Opera House. Lisa has been featured with many ensembles, including the famed Larry Elgart Orchestra, the St. Johns River City Band, and the Chris Riddle Orchestra, and has performed with such jazz luminaries as Bunky Green, Jack Petersen, Bill Prince, Bill Allred, Arturo Sandoval, Ed Calle, Don Menza, Slide Hampton, Dave Brubeck, Eddie Metz, Lynne Arriale, Danny Gottlieb, John Lee, Yotam Silberstein, Terry Myers, Bob Draga and many others. She has performed for numerous national and international festivals, clubs and jazz societies as a guest solo artist and as a co-leader of several small groups and big bands with her husband, renowned trumpeter, JB Scott.

Lisa is a frequent guest artist/clinician and an adjudicator for both vocal and instrumental competitions and festivals, teaches voice, music theory and combo for jazz camps, and has taught formally at the middle school, high school and collegiate levels. Well known for her mentoring, Lisa has presented vocal jazz clinics for various schools and in-service teacher’s conferences, for Jazz Educators Network (JEN) National Conferences, for Florida Jazz Educators (FJE), and since 2007, for the Florida Music Educators Association (FMEA) Convention in Tampa, Florida, where her Lisa Kelly Quartet received a standing ovation for their performance at the prestigious 2012 FMEA Opening Session. Since 2000, she has been the featured vocalist with the FMEA/FBA Band Directors Reading Band Session, and in 2012, served as the mentor for the first student vocalist to ever perform with the FMEA All-State High School Jazz Ensemble. In 2013 (through 2015) Lisa initiated the first state-wide high school “High School Jazz Vocal Soloist Competition,” coaching 3 student vocalists to perform at the annual FMEA music conference in Tampa, Florida, with one also singing with the 2013 All-State Jazz Band, directed by Dr. Bill Prince.

Read more


Album Review
Read more articles
“Lisa Kelly gets my vote for one of the few singers that understands how to handle a ballad with tenderness, grace, and warmth. I gladly fell into the mystical mood she created…thanks for sharing the gift!” John Clayton, world renowned bassist, composer, arranger

“Well jazz lovers, are you ready? Because Lisa Kelly is! This beautiful vocalist is very focused and passionate about this great American Art form we call Jazz. I have no doubt about what contribution towards the perpetuation and preservation of Jazz that Lisa will make. Great phrasing, color, and pitch! Pitch! Pitch! Swing Baby! Carmen Bradford, World renowned jazz vocalist the Count Basie Band

Read more


Album Discography



Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.