Lilli Lewis bears a progressive, provocative, and conscientious presence fueled by a boundless appetite for poetry and rhythm. Paired with a love for music that began before she composed her first song on the piano at age three, Lewis is a modern day Renaissance woman, who, when in full gear, conjures the likes of Big Mama Thornton, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Odetta, and Janis Joplin.
Whether looping solo a cappella as “a one woman Sweet Honey in the Rock,” throwing down at Tipitina’s with her band The Shiz, or performing timeless spirituals from the African-American Folk tradition, the Athens, Georgia native has the power to stir even the stiffest listener. An award-winning feature on festival main stages across the U.S. and abroad, with compositions that have been premiered in five states, Lilli now makes her home in New Orleans, performing as keyboardist and vocalist with some of the Crescent City’s most elite, including Dirty Dozen Brass Band founding member and sousaphone master Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove.
Lilli's a cappella work led to featured performances at the International Looking Festival in Santa Cruz and the SOJAM A Cappella festival, tied her with Ladysmith Black Mambazo for the 2008 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award's Best World-Folk Album, and afforded her favorite female solo a cappella artist in the 2009 A Cappella Community Awards. 2016 Brought a national debut release on Louisiana Red Hot Records with her latest single "O, Let Your Light Shine Bright," making her the only woman on the esteemed label that represents some of the hottest bands coming out of New Orleans today including Ivan Neville and Dumpstaphunk, The Honey Island Swamp Band, the New Orleans Suspects and Glen David Andrews.
With vocals said to have “enough energy to power a large city,” Lewis brings her songs of empowerment and personal responsibility to ever widening audiences, never failing to deliver “innovative, soulful music that will never go out of style.”