Lisa Sokolov is a frontline New York jazz vocalist, improviser and composer. Her work embraces the best of new music, free and straight ahead jazz. Her recordings angel Rodeo, Lazy Afternoon, Presence and A Quiet Thing have all received Best CD of the Year citations and press kudos. DownBeat magazine cites “Presence” as 5 stars “Masterpiece”, Best CD of the Year and made the DownBeat “Best of the Decade” list in 2010.
Her own studies began as a classical pianist and singer with conservatory prep education and traditional musical training. Her intrigue with the music of John Coltrane led her to search out Coltrane’s bassist Jimmy Garrison at Bennington College in Vermont. Choosing this school, she found herself able to study with trumpeter Bill Dixon, saxophonist Jimmy Lyons, and drummer Milford Graves, as well as composers Vivian Fine and Louis Calabro.
Arriving on the New York scene in 1977, Lisa began collaborating with bassist William Parker. This collaboration continues. These years included working in trio with singers Ellen Christie and Jeanne Lee. Lisa also was heard regularly with pianists Wayne Horvitz and Robin Holcomb in the days of Studio Henry. Indeed over the years she has worked with many new music and jazz notables including Cecil Taylor, Rashid Ali, Badal Roy, Andrew Cyrille, Mark Dresser, Jimmy Lyons, Irene Schweitzer, Cameron Brown, Butch Morris, Gerry Hemingway, Blue “Gene” Tyranny, Hilton Ruiz, Mike Richmond, and Jim McNeely.
Her performances include solos, duets, quartets, big bands, (she has recorded with William Parkers Little Huey Orchestra and in duo for William’s Song Cycle) and her own Voice/Movement/Theater work and choral works. She has been heard at the Montreaux Jazz Festival, The Stimmen Festival, Opera House of Lyons, the Spoleto Festival, the Kool Jazz Festival., The Vision Festival, Havana International Jazz Festival, the Tampere Jazz Happening, Brisbane Festival, The Knitting Factory, The Bottom Line, Alice Tully Hall, Symphony Space and many other venues.
Lisa has recorded on Soul Note, Uneet, Aum, Boxholder, Between the Lines and Laughing Horse Records.
Sokolov is the originator of the method of Embodied VoiceWork, a vocal improvisation method which she teaches at The Experimental Theater Wing at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts where she is a Full Arts Professor. Before her full time appointment at Tisch, Sokolov was on the faculty of The Graduate Program of Music Therapy at NYU for ten years. Ms. Sokolov is invited internationally to perform, teach workshops and master classes in her vocal techniques to artists, therapists, physicians and people just wanting to contact, connect and sing. Her performance and vocal techniques have been written up in magazines, newspapers and in texts on improvisation. Her work as a lay cantor has been featured in A CBS Special, “Sacred Art; Ancient Voices”
Lisa is acknowledged as a pioneer for her contribution to the field of Music Therapy in her trainings, work and writing on the wider application of the role of voice in this culture. She is the Director of The Institute for Embodied VoiceWork in New York where she trains post-graduate music therapists and physicians and is often the keynote speaker at conferences, institutes and universities throughout the world.