Lisa Markley

single post, with meta


2020 News

Winter is receding, the shadows are changing, and the magic light in our woods shifts slightly every day.  This winter has been mild, and honestly, I feel a little cheated on the snow.  I think my home town outside of Seattle got more snow than we did here in the Catskill mountains.  But the locals will not tolerate my pining for the snow.  They are ready for spring, and I do my best to keep my complaints to myself.

This week marks the first anniversary of our move into our funky little raised ranch in the woods.  It also marks one year since my freelance work truly began pick up momentum, and I have been able to pay bills, repair my vintage Subaru, begin crowning my broken teeth, and buy my own health insurance.  As tenuous as freelancing is, I am grateful for the chance to work, to teach, and to live my truth, my life, on my terms.  This winter I resolved to take the next step, and return to my own music.

TEXAS REUNIONS: In January I flew to Texas and did two shows with my band of Ne’er-Do-Wells, Paul Slavens (piano), Jeffrey Barnes (woodwinds), and Drew Phelps on bass.  This was the first time in years that I performed without my beautiful husband (and partner in musical crimes), Bruce Balmer.  It was also the first time in years that I performed two-full sets of originals.  I was surprised at how much I had missed these songs.

ALL LISA ALL THE TIME: Now is the time to book more “solo” shows.  Of course, I will continue to pursue the American Songbook, but no longer to the exclusion of my original compositions.

That said, I am gradually assembling a quartet for jazz shows here in the Hudson Valley and beyond.  Rehearsals to begin soon!

MALVINAS PACIFIC NW TOUR: I, along with the Malvinas, am planning a tour to the great Pacific Northwest in June.  We have our anchor gigs, but are still looking to connect the dots with house concerts.  If friends in NW Washington that would like to host us, please reach out to me.  The Malvinas offer timely songs, quirky arrangements, other-worldly harmonies, and screaming fiddle.  You can find more information and videos at 

NEW RECORDINGS: Bruce and I are talking with our fearless leaders at Soona Songs about moving forward with an album of originals.  We’ll keep all our friends and fans posted on that project as we decide how to proceed.  This winter we have been hunkering down with our backlog of songs, taking stock of which ones we might record.  

BRUCE BALMER:  Bruce and I continue performing as Markley & Balmer, but there are too many songs that have been neglected in order to create a truly collaborative show.  Bruce Balmer is a formidable songwriter, with hundreds of songs that need to be put out there on stage.  He is finally returning to the idea of a band to present his songs (as well as solo shows). This thrills me, and I cannot wait to see what this year holds for his amazing music.

TEACHING:  My work continues at Rhinebeck School of Music, as well as classes for “Abilities First”, and various music therapy sessions.  I cannot believe how the universe has opened up for me since moving to New York.  Teaching is the most creative (and truly the most important work I can do).  It is my greatest privilege to share music with others, and it makes me a better human and a stronger musician.  We may not be able to change the world, but we can change one person’s world when we teach, and when we sing together.

As winter draws to a close, and spring lurks beneath the the fallen leaves, my wish for you is to sing, and to sing with others.