As the story goes, Lilli Lewis should never have been. Before she was born, Lewis’ mother was told her baby probably wouldn’t survive due to lung trouble, so the fact that Lewis now makes a living singing with those same lungs is a gift she never takes for granted. Lewis uses her voice to bring what she calls sacred songs into profane spaces, and though she’s abandoned trying to define her sound, she hopes her audiences leave shows knowing two things: that they are brilliant as they are, and that they have the ability to use that brilliance to make a better world.
Trained as an opera singer and classical pianist, Georgia native Lewis has been a composer, producer and performer for over two decades. After carving out space as an African American queer woman of size, Lewis’ career has culminated in her album Americana being a top pick everywhere from NPR’s All Songs Considered to Rolling Stone.
The FolkRockDiva is a musical polyglot who glides easily between folk, roots, country soul, gospel, and jazz, and has integrated New Orleans traditions by singing lead for Dirty Dozen Brass Band founding member Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove. Lewis’ Louisiana Red Hot Records releases include The Henderson Sessions, We Belong, and Americana.
Powerhouse singer-songwriter Lilli Lewis has announced her 2022 tour, including dates at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Folk Alliance International Conference, and The Kennedy Center which has called her: “A powerhouse performer adding her unique voice and talent to the national discussion of the state of social justice in America.”