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Lisa’s body of work has consistently included the intimate duo format, both live and recorded. Her talented musical partners have included Bill Coon, guitar, and pianists Cho Yoon Seung, Doug Johnson, and Tim Ray.  The music is steeped in the jazz tradition, spanning all eras and played in spontaneous and fun fashion – with and without words – inviting the listener into the daring art of the duo.


“Wondering Why” with Tim Ray (Tim Ray: music; Lisa Thorson: lyrics)


 “Through the medium of these lovely songs, the talents of these two exceptionally gifted artists are vividly displayed. Brought together as they are on ‘Out to Sea’, they are magical.”

Bruce Crowther, co-author of Singing Jazz: The Singers and Their Styles


Click here to learn about the CD “Out to Sea’ with Cho Yoon Seung


Quartets and Quintets
Lisa’s quartet and quintet including Tim Ray, piano, David Clark, bass and George Schuller, drums, and Cercie Miller, reeds have been performing together for over twenty five years in clubs, concert halls, festivals, colleges and community events throughout the United States and Canada.  All of the ensemble members are critically acclaimed performing and recording artists and professional music educators. 


These ensembles success and popularity can be attributed to longevity and a spirited kinship.  What has resulted over time is an ensemble that shares the writing duties to create improvised music acclaimed for its unique mix drawing from the rich lexicon of jazz, original compositions and innovative arrangements that give a nod to the past and a look to the future.


I Mean You (Thelonius Monk, arr. Mark Shilansky)


JazzArtSigns® is acclaimed jazz vocalist Lisa Thorson’s groundbreaking multimedia, multi-sensory performance that can be equally enjoyed by all audiences. JazzArtSigns® features world-class musicians, an improvisational painter, an American Sign Language interpreter, a live audio describer and text captioner, as well as program information in Braille and large print. What makes this event groundbreaking is that everyone involved – the band, the ASL interpreter, and a painter – improvise to create a universally accessible performance. This interactive fusion of improvisation, music, visual art, and language encourages all audiences to participate in the spirit of acceptance, innovation and cooperation.


JazzArtSigns® creator Lisa Thorson’s artistic vision and intent is that “through JazzArtSigns®, I hope to inspire new mainstream artistic projects that will take a holistic view of access to the arts – one where access is an element in the creative process rather than an add-on that restricts creativity. With JazzArtSigns®, the ASL interpreter and painter trade fours with the band and everyone improvises. This is what makes the event so unique.”


JazzArtSigns® has been performed to unanimous acclaim in Boston, MA, Portsmouth, NH’s Music Hall and as one of the premiere events in the Independence Starts Here! Festival, Philadelphia’s first city-wide festival showcasing art influenced or inspired by the experience of disability.


Click here to see a JazzArtSigns® performance.


Boswellmania (Coming soon)


Without Words (Coming soon)