Lisa Fischer performs on Saturday. To learn more about the artist, visit lisafischermusic.com.
Lisa Fischer has been in the music industry a long time.
The two-time Grammy-award winning vocalist began singing in schools and churches and eventually worked her way up to performing in clubs. After a while, she found herself singing backup for friends and then got her break accompanying Luther Vandross, whom she considers to be one of her greatest teachers.
“He had an eye for detail musically and visually,” Fischer says. “And you just cared about every part of what he was offering his audience, and that really stuck with me.”
After years of singing in the background for other giants in the industry like Chaka Khan and the Rolling Stones, Fischer released her 1991 solo album, So Intense, which included the single, “How Can I Ease the Pain,” for which Fischer won her first Grammy in Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
“It was a difficult transition for me,” Fischer says about going from a background singer to a solo artist. “I was just used to having a path and just focusing on that path.”
In 2013, Fischer was highlighted in the documentary, 20 Feet from Stardom, which reignited her career and put her back on track as a solo artist. The film also earned Fischer her second Grammy, this time for Best Music Film. Since then, she’s been touring with her band, Grand Baton, and will perform at the Coltrane Festival for the first time. And while Fischer has often been categorized as an R&B artist, she says that jazz is a freeing genre for her.
“What I love is melodies and how they blend together and the freedom of that,” she says. “Jazz represents a kind of freedom to me in a creative sense and how people listen to each other and how they react to each other in a millisecond. It’s like being in the same musical space together and sharing information. You don’t even speak about it. You just breathe and it happens.”