Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Kirchner, Lisa (Beth)
Kirchner, Lisa (Beth), singer, songwriter and actress b. Los Angeles, CA, 10 June 1953. When she was a child, she moved with her family, her mother (b. Gertrude Schoenberg, 1914), her father (Leon Kirchner, b. 1919,) and brother (Paul b. 1950) to Berkeley, CA and then in 1967, to Cambridge, MA, where her father, a renowned classical composer, began his tenure as an honorary professor of music at Harvard University. Lisa began modern dance, ballet lessons and dance performances at the age of 6, and she began piano lessons at the age of 8. She taught herself to sing and play guitar and was appearing in dance concerts, and musical and theatrical events in her early teens. By the time she graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1975, she was working off-Broadway in New York. Now studying acting and voice formally, Lisa went from appearances off-Broadway and at various Theatre Festvals, on to Broadway, as Lucy Brown opposite Raul Julia and Phil Bosco, in the Richard Foreman production of The Threepenny Opera.
Lisa Kirchner 's entree into the jazz venue is preceded by her years of experience in theatre and television. She wrote and composed her own songs for her on camera appearances on NBC's "Another World." (approximately 1979-1981) Her varied performance background has included her Broadway appearances in the role of Lucy Brown in "The Threepenny Opera" (1978-77), opposite Raul Julia and Phil Bosco, and in various featured roles in William Dumaresque and Galt MacDermot's "The Human Comedy" (1984). Off-Broadway, Ms. Kirchner originated the role of Irma Vep in Richard Foreman and Stanley Silverman's "Hotel For Criminals" (1974) and its sequel, "The American Imagination" (1978). She has been featured in numerous off and off-off Broadway productions at the Public Theatre, the Delacorte Theatre, La Mama Theatre and annex, Westbeth and The American Place Theatre. On television she appeared as Edith Wharton's character, Undine Spragg in the BRAVO Cable channel's "Songs from the Heart", and as a ballad singer in "Out of Our Father's House", on WNET's "Great Performances". As a dancer she appeared in Grover Dale's "Houdini", with Christopher Walken, and with the James Waring Dance Company she appeared at Judson Memorial Church. Lisa Kirchner was Judy Collins' featured soloist at Carnegie Hall, and she has appeared singing harmony vocals with Collins at the Wheeler Opera house, The Greek Theatre. Wolftrap, and the Roxie. Lisa Kirchner's television appearances with Judy Collins include, "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno, Joan Rivers, and CBS "This Morning" and "ShowTime."
Kirchner has appeared at Birdland, The Village Gate, Barocco, Glass, Maxim's, Reno Sweeney, the Copacabana, The Ballroom, Tatou, Cleopatra's Needle, Metronome, Wilson's, and many other clubs in New York City. She has been the invited singer to Gracie Mansion on several occasions and she has appeared at the White House, and in concert at Harvard University, the Harvard Club and the American Academy in Rome. As a lyricist, she has collaborated with theatre composer Galt MacDermott, and with jazz composers and instrumentalists, James Weidman and Ron Jackson, and with classical composer Andy Waggoner.
She played Foxwoods in the summer of 2003, appearing regularly over the summer (as vocalist and leader of her band every weekend in July and a weekend in August). She also played Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge, MA where she appeared in April of 2004.
One More Rhyme (2000); When Lights Are Low (2002)
Judy Collins: Sanity and Grace, Fires of Eden