LILLI LEWIs Is…

1. A squishy humanist who loves pianos.
2. A creator of #orangemusic–distant, more sober cousin of the blues.
3. Singer of songs “for the people” who sometimes likes to get loud about it.
4. New orleans’ singer/composer of rare grace and grit.


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.”

Tour Dates Press Quotes

photo by Noe Cugny for OffBeat Magazine

The lilli lewis project

a cult of radical decency


Whether as a soloist or with her trio, Lewis moves audiences with her down home brand of vulnerable empowerment.

That said, Lewis’ full band The Lilli Lewis Project (lovingly known as LLP) is more of a pan-generational cult of radical decency that delivers heart throbbing, earnest rock and soul that “makes you want to put your hands in the air, shout hallelujah and shake your booty for the rest of the night, with enough energy to power a large city.” Jamie Anderson, indie-music.com

With LLP, Lewis displays “Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s virtuoso commitment to her instrument and Odetta’s vocal power, creating a show that is a force of nature.” Willing to traverse any musical terrain, LLP bears the spirit of days when everyone still believed music could change the world.

The regular lineup is a cosmic swarm of fellow idealist music nerds: Wade Hymel (Dash Rip Rock, Incubators) on drums; Ryan Murray (Marina Orchestra, Bloco Jacare) on percussion; Ole Oddlokken (Noisewater) on tenor and soprano sax; and master composer/ bassist Dr. Jimbo Walsh (Michael Ray and Cosmic Krewe) on bass. 

LLP Official Website

The Lilli Lewis Project
l-r: Ryan Murray, percussion; Dr. Jimbo Walsh, bass; Lilli Lewis, lead vocals/piano; Ole Oddlokken, saxophone; Wade Hymel, drums

The Shiz

conscious, hippie, lesbeaux
folk-rock and Soul


Shiz Rock is conscious, hippie, lesbeaux folk-rock and soul born from the soul of the south, New Orleans. Lilli Lewis formed The Shiz with her wife, Liz Hogan in January of 2009 when they moved to Liz’s hometown of Hammond, LA after spending 18 months working at a Buddhist retreat center in Northern Colorado.

Hogan had been denied employment with a wilderness therapy program in Arizona on the grounds that her marriage was not recognized by that state, and that her relationship went against organizational policy (read more at www.selfevidenttruths.org). Facing the start of an economic crisis after having spent all their savings attempting to relocate for that job, Hogan and Lewis saw forming a rock band as the only reasonable thing to do. A self-declared folk artist to the bone with a penchant for silt rivers and old songs in minor keys, Hogan says they found their indie rock alter-ego because “being an artist and being gay in the deep south makes people want to be loud sometimes.”

The band name, first designed to keep them from taking themselves too seriously, came to represent people pouring their everything into something for no other reason than the love they may hold for it. Any music born that way is what this band proudly calls Shiz Rock.

The Shiz l-r: Liz Hogan, guitar; Wade Hymel, drums; Lilli Lewis, keys; Alan Craig, bass | Official Website
The Shiz ‘Meet You In The Morning’