When: Fri., July 8, 9 p.m. 2011
Dominican by birth, a New Yorker during childhood and currently a North Carolinian, Lizh has lived the hodgepodge of cultures that she brings to her music. "All cultures are different ice cream flavors; peanut butter ice cream and strawberry ice cream are really different but they're still ice cream," she explains. "Music is beautiful because it takes all those styles and all those forms and makes a tutti-frutti out of them."
Lizh's music crosses borders just as her background does. A given track may draw upon blues, jazz, Latin funk, pop and all of the above. "Tra," for instance, showcases spicy chanted lyrics and a musical melding of American and Latino tradition that's reminiscent of Yerba Buena. The soulful "Bent" features pining vocals, plunging piano and a screaming guitar solo. "Don't You Worry Mama" is an über-bluesy number that Lizh wrote upon her move to North Carolina. She came seeking an artistic environment that offered a comparable caliber of talent without the feeling of being "lost in a wave of people" that can swallow a person whole.
A poet, singer and multi-instrumentalist, Lizh wants to share her ideas and experiences through art. To her, art is vitality and the ultimate form of communication. "It's the ability we have to express our moral system, our emotions and the way we perceive the world," she says. "Art spans culture, time, everything, regardless of what form it takes."
After being awarded the title of Latin Poet of the Year by N.C.'s National Poetry Awards in 2010, and having earned a spot in the Women's Empowerment Expo at the RBC Center, the evidence keeps tumbling in: Lizh is worth hearing. With The Balance. —Nina Rajagopalan