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Lisa Fischer is stepping into the spotlight at last. After four decades of singing background for icons such as the Rolling Stones, Tina Turner, Chaka Khan, and Nine Inch Nails, Fischer is finally performing her own mesmerizing shows, accompanied by her inventive new band Grand Baton.
The breakout success of the Oscar-winning documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom altered the course of Fischer’s musical journey. Featuring clips of her 1991 GRAMMY-winning R&B hit, “How Can I Ease The Pain,” and her legendary duet with Mick Jagger on “Gimme Shelter,” as well as glowing testimonials from famous colleagues such as Sting, Patti Austin, and Chris Botti, the film showcased her virtuosity and vulnerability, earned her a second GRAMMY Award, and left audiences eager to see and hear more. “Ms. Fischer has become the unexpected star of Mr. Neville’s film,” said the New York Times.
Fischer’s range is legendary, but her greatest gift is the ability to reach the hearts of her listeners. Raised in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, she emerged from New York’s studio scene in the early 1980s and quickly became session-singer royalty. Her career revolved around supporting other artists, including her mentor Luther Vandross and a constellation of music legends such as Aretha Franklin, Bobby McFerrin, Grover Washington, Patti LaBelle, and other major recording artists. Fischer joined the Rolling Stones on tour for the first time in 1989 for their Steel Wheels tour; she has since graced their stage for twenty-six years.
In performance, she draws from an eclectic palette of influences, putting her stamp on Led Zeppelin and Little Willie John, recasting rock anthems from her tours with the Stones and Tina Turner. Grand Baton’s organic fusion of African, Middle Eastern, and Caribbean rhythms, psychedelic soul, and progressive rock ignites Fischer’s flexibility and freedom of expression.
The single best show I’ve seen in the many years I’ve visited Birdland.
—New York Times
The hair on the back of your neck stands up. The display of vocal magic was mesmerizing.
[A] wondrous instrument that can seamlessly blend classical, jazz, soul, gospel, rock and folk.
—Minneapolis Star Tribune