Born and raised in Reading, PA, when Liza was 13, she persuaded her mother to take her to New York to begin auditioning for theater, TV and film. She gained one of the top children’s talent managers and began working. Having had a busy career acting and performing on stage, in off-Broadway shows, film, television, commercials, cabaret and touring productions, Liza began to grow tired of the routine. “I remember standing on the stage performing in a musical and feeling like it was time to move on. I had been in shows since I was four years old (locally) and professionally since I was thirteen. I wanted to try something different. I realized that I never wanted to abandon performing but I also knew that a creative shift was in order.”
Liza was in Pennsylvania trying to figure out what it was that she wanted to do. “During this time I met an amazing man and vocal teacher who changed my life. His name was Paul Scholastico. Mr. Scholastico lived in a shack (literally) in the middle of nowhere with his books and music. He is the one who taught me that performing should be a transcendent experience. That if I could let go and let the notes and words become a bridge between the audience and myself then I could be a vessel for music. Mr. Scholastico passed away on the day that I finished my first professional demo. I remember feeling that he was there with me in the booth and not being sure why. When I got home from the studio that night my mother told me the news. I am still trying to learn to be the performer that he believed I could be.”
Liza relocated to New York to live full time. She began to study music with world-renowned jazz pianist and composer Bruce Barth who became her mentor and accompanist. “I was new to the jazz world. I didn’t really understand what a force Bruce is on the jazz scene. Eventually he told me that he felt that I could make a living as a jazz vocalist so I decided to give it a go. I suppose that that may sound a bit strange to just sort of say ‘Ok, now I sing jazz!’ but that is really how this period in my life began.” During this time Liza also studied vocal technique with Jeannette LoVetri, Luciana Souza and Eric Mingus.
Liza and her band went into the studio and recorded her first full-length project "Scarlet Mark", which Bruce played on and co-produced. The release of this project led Liza to receive worldwide airplay, and she toured internationally. Liza also captured the attention of International Creative Management (I.C.M.) agent Bob Zievers. “Bob heard the title track, which was the only original song on “Scarlet” and asked me if I had more original material? We had a meeting where I took him a folder filled with lyrics and left them with him. He called me the next morning and said that he wanted to help me get my songs and thoughts out into the world. He said that the openness and rawness of my writing reminded him of Frida Kahlo’s paintings. This compliment still blows me away. To be compared to anyone with her passion and talent is both terrifying and humbling.”
“My writing is where I let it all out. Or where I can imagine myself in someone else’s skin. I am also incredibly concerned about the terrible state of things in our world right now. I have always been a writer. I have always been an outspoken individual about many issues. Writing the material for my new CD’s just seemed like the natural progression in my growth as an artist.”
Liza is thrilled to announce that she is about to release a new jazz project entitled “Anima” which will benefit “The Society For Women’s Health Research” due to be released in fall of 2008. “I feel like “Anima” has a lot more texture than “Scarlet” did. “Anima” also features more original material than “Scarlet Mark” which is very exciting for me. And the covers that I am doing are songs that really resonate with me. I am much more confident this time around. I feel like I have grown a lot both vocally and emotionally since my last CD and I really feel like people will be able to hear that on “Anima”.”
Liza is also excited to be recording her first completely original music project “Houses of Detention” with Producer, guitarist and composer Joe Davi [Mya (Interscope), Akon (Universal), Foxy Brown (Universal), Noreaga (Penalty), Big Punisher (Loud), Kelis (Jive Records), Remy Ma (Universal) as well as Neyo and Jennifer Hudson] has signed on as producer and has helped to pen a few of the new tracks. “Joe originally comes from a jazz background but he has worked with R&B, rap and pop superstars. He loves alternative and anti-folk as well as Emo. And he can be found running around town catching Broadway musicals, operas and classical concerts. I feel like I have found a similarly schizophrenic musical soul mate. Joe will rein me in when I need it but he also loves to knock down genre walls. Not to mention co-writing with Pat O’Leary (bassist, producer and composer) who will say, ‘Liza, have you heard this field tape of musical examples originally derived from Mauritania, West Africa yet?’ I normally answer, ' Uhm, no, Pat, but let’s hear it.' I am really able to delve into emotionally tough lyrics, add an extra beat here and there and change tempos without either of them wincing. Right now with everything that I have got going on I am in musical heaven!”
An increasingly significant performer, Liza Lee is poised to become an important voice of the 21st century.