Lisa Bell has been singing jazz since the age of six. Influenced by music ranging from pop to Broadway, she creates much of her own original material. She blends her rich, silky voice with an eclectic style of musical arrangements that incorporate not only the mix of traditional trumpet and sax , but also the intricate sounds of non-traditional instruments, such as acoustic and pedal steel guitars. Some of the jazz greats whose styles have influenced Lisa are: Norah Jones, Eva Cassidy, Aretha Franklin, Diana Krall, Dionne Warwick and Ella Fitzgerald.
A native of Boulder, Colorado, Lisa earned a B.A. degree in both Communications and Vocal Performance, while on a scholarship to the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Although her major emphasis was on jazz vocals, she was also trained in opera and musical theater.
Following graduation, Lisa performed in various jazz venues with a number of different artists. She sang as a backing vocalist for well known jazz singer and recording artist, Bobby McFerrin and with Kansas City’s jazz and blues singer, Ida McBeth. She worked as a studio session singer and did a stint as soloist for the 25-piece old-timey, Radio Days Orchestra in Kansas City. Her varied musical experience after college also included writing and singing jingles for local radio commercials and doing choir demonstration recordings with Hal Leonard, the world's largest music print publisher. She further expanded her experience by performing in musical theater productions, such as Jesus Christ Superstar, and she worked with the Theatre League of Kansas City on a variety show, where she impersonated Carol Channing doing Hello, Dolly on Broadway.
When Lisa returned to her home state of Colorado in 1992, she performed with a number of musical organizations. She joined the Colorado Symphony Chorus and also sang in three Gilbert & Sullivan operettas at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Later, she formed a vocal jazz quartet , Jazz On The Rocks, and became a member of the Boulder Philharmonic Chorus.
Lisa’s interests then turned back to jazz and she recorded her first jazz CD, Dare To Be, in 2001. It showcased some of her own original arrangements of jazz classics, including Summertime and Black Coffee, along with a tune she wrote, What Can I Do. The CD also featured a special guest, pop/jazz saxophonist, Nelson Rangell, another Colorado native.
Lisa has performed at jazz clubs throughout Colorado and at major regional festivals, such as the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Taste of Colorado, and the 2004 JVC Winter Park Jazz Festival. She also joined Denver's smooth jazz radio station CD104 for its Jazz On The Tracks performances aboard an Amtrak Rocky Mountain tour train. Her Denver club appearances have included, Dazzle, Jazz @Jacks and Sambuca, where Colorado Magazine Online videotaped her performance.
Lisa's latest CD, It’s All About Love, is backed by some top Colorado musicians: Bijoux Barbosa on bass; Larry Thompson on drums; Bob Rebholz, plays sax, flute and EWI; Ross Martin is on guitar; Christian Teal backs the group with percussion; and Lisa’s regular pianist, John Armstrong handles the keys. The CD also features special guest appearances by Bill Payne of Little Feat, on keyboard and organ, and Gabriel Mark Hasselbach, who comes in on trumpet and flugelhorn.
The idea for the album’s title originated in a response to her producer,
when he asked her what was really important in her life. She replied, 'It's
all about love, isn't it?” Lisa co-authored eight of the songs on the
CD and wrote the title song, It's All About Love, The CD which reflects
Lisa’s feelings and experiences during recent years in her life was
recorded at studios both in Colorado and New York. The songs which are a mix
of smooth and traditional jazz, cabaret, bossa nova, and blues, Lisa explains,
express her feelings about love’s journeys through happy and painful