Join us for a special night with an all star band of local musicians supporting Lisa Markley in her last Dallas-Fort Worth performance before she and her husband move out of state.
Though most often recognized for her abilities as a vocalist, Lisa Markley began her musical journey as a trombonist. A multi-instrumentalist (voice, guitar, piano, banjo, and trombone), Markley is a graduate of the prestigious School of Music at the University of North Texas where she performed in the Lab Bands and in the Jazz Singers, studying composition, jazz, voice, trombone, and music education.
She defies category in pursuit of the perfect song.
Markley has been recording and touring internationally over the last fifteen years as a singer-songwriter and jazz artist, playing shows from Festival Mémoire et Racines in Québec, Canada to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, from Festival Internationale to the Kerrville Folk Festival, from jazz clubs in Seattle to folk shows in Boston, and in house concerts from Bellingham to Cape Cod to Denver to New York City.
Though Lisa Markley’s career as a songwriter blends folk and jazz influences, her recent recording projects have brought her home, focusing her finely tuned vocal talents on the jazz genre. Lisa is signed with the Soona Songs record label, where she has been given the freedom to explore the more intimate forms of jazz song, art song, and to record new songs along side the jazz “standards”.
These days Lisa performs locally with her jazz quartet, (aka “the Ne’er-Do-Wells”), and tours nationally with her husband and partner in musical crime, Bruce Balmer, (Markley & Balmer) doing their own twisted take on original songs and jazz standards. She also hits the road occasionally with the genre-busting folk-ish trio The Malvinas.
Yet with all the traveling, she remains deeply rooted in her community as a teaching artist. Through the years, Lisa Markley has taught over a thousand students in school settings as well as her private studio. She remains as passionately devoted to teaching as she is to writing and performing. Completely blowing off the old adage, Markley believes that “Those who can do, can do better and teach.”
Very few artists successfully cross back and forth from jazz to classical and back again: Wynton Marsalis, Arturo Sandoval, and Duke Ellington come to mind. But now add to the list Dallas vocalist Damon K. Clark. Already acclaimed for his unusual sensitivity, versatility and virtuosity, Damon is as much at home with Thelonius Monk’s “’Round Midnight” as he is with Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma.” The mellifluous tenor minimizes the aesthetic distance between the classical and jazz worlds.
While Damon’s tessitura and timbre could be described as Bobby McFerrin-esque, his approach to the material is unique. Damon’s scatting in particular exhibits a classical precision, while hinting at his affection for Ella Fitzgerald’s and Mel Tormé’s improvisational skills. Damon’s take on songs like Gershwins’ “They All Laughed” is a highlight, showcasing his astonishing range, playful scatting, melismatic mastery and elastic phrasing.
Damon has shared the stage with seven time nominee and Grammy winner Paula Cole. He has also frequently performed with Grammy and Stellar Award winner Andrea Wallace. As far as colaborations go, Damon has also made music with some of the greatest musicians in Dallas like Myles Tate III, Tom Braxton, Bernard Wright, Eric Willis, and producer of Beyonce's "The Best Thing I Never Had", Caleb Sean McCampbell to mention a few. Damon’s is never far away from his classical roots. He has also shared the stage and sung with opera luminary and countertenor John Holliday of the Metropolitan Opera.
With a performance career that has taken him to Europe, many parts of the United States, and in many venues in Dallas including the Winspear Opera House, Dallas City Performance Hall, and the Sammons Center for the Performing Arts, he considers Oak Cliff’s Kessler Theater to be his artistic home.
Damon is a Los Angeles native, but he considers Dallas his home.