Lisa Graciano
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Lisa Graciano

Oakland, California, United States | SELF

Oakland, California, United States | SELF
Band Folk Acoustic




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The Singles (2005 4-track CD)
Citygirl Blues (2006 CD Album)
Seeds Of Life (2013 CD Album)

Lisa's Musical History:

Lisa Graciano grew up in a family that moved back and forth between 3 cities, namely Jakarta, Manila and Singapore, which cultivated a sense of nomadic, cosmopolitan and worldly feel in her. Lisa has been in and out of bands, playing the underground circuits and making her own songs since her school days. Late 1989, she relocated to Amsterdam with her mother and youngest sister. Until 2002, next to work and her own family, she kept music on the side, making songs and playing with a local band in Den Helder.

"As a child," she said, "I was very open to all kinds of music, being exposed to music from different cultures, such as gamelan, krontjong, Chinese opera, Indian sitar music and tagalog folk songs like 'Anak' by Freddy Aguilar. At home, English was the spoken language and Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Everly Brothers, Connie Francis and the Beatles the music. I hummed my own tunes while playing with dolls and was fascinated by the sounds I got from my toy piano. At the age of 12 I picked up the acoustic guitar and I started to go through the self-study book. Before I knew it I could play chords. Next I'd sing my song for my sisters and brother: "We're going down, eat our lunch there...."
In another interview she said,"Then there was music from the 60's, 70's and 80's on the radio and Latin music my Dad used to listen to. My own discoveries though, were triggered by the death of John Lennon in 1980. I had already been playing acoustic guitar and writing songs for a year. I remember being deeply affected when Lennon got shot and died just when I was getting into his music. My instinct was to get into the root of his music. Lennon was into rock n roll. The blues had a baby and they named it rock n roll. So that's how I got to the blues, from Muddy Waters to Bonnie Raitt and Memphis Minnie. And during my time in the Manila underground music scene, I got exposed to a lot of Bob Marley reggae, ska and punk. A musician friend gave me a tape with world music from Olatunji and Osibisa. I remember my sister and I used to listen to that tape for hours."

At the suggestion of her parents, Lisa studied some music after finishing Secondary School in Singapore and got diplomas in Grade 4 Piano-playing and Grade 5 Theory of Music from the Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music. Still, the guitar was her first instrument of choice and ever since she started playing it, she has learnt from other guitar-players and loves experimenting with open-tuning, finger-picking and slide technique.

After returning to Amsterdam, Lisa did a lot of semi-acoustic performances as a solo artist in 2004 and co-assisted the Blues and Bluesy Open Session held every Wednesday night at Cafe Sappho in Amsterdam. After that, she helped organize and was host of a semi-acoustic show called Fire Valentine on Valentine's night in 2005, at Pre Cafe, in Amsterdam's Leidseplein area. She then went on to host showcases for singer-songwriters every month in that same cafe as well as in Cafe Ponteneur in East Amsterdam. In the summer of 2005, even though she did many shows with her new band as well as solo performances, she also took the opportunity to become a weekly band session-leader for two months in a row at Maloe Melo, a well-known cafe in the heart of Amsterdam. She closed the year with the birth of an EP entitled 'The Singles' containing 4 songs. It got good reviews and copies of the cd were sold on and during performances.

The highlight of 2006 was the change of musicians in her band, again teaming up with some of the finest in Amsterdam and not only playing shows but also recording some tracks which were included in the 'Citygirl Blues' album released in the late summer of that year. The songs in this cd reflect various influences from country, gamelan, funk, pop and rock injected into her bluesy style. Some lyrics to her music convey emotions felt from a woman's perspective while others have a one-world theme.

From 2007 up to now, her journey continues as a performing singer-songwriter, setting up her base in California, playing in different cities, inspiring and being inspired by people and connecting with them. Her new CD album entitled ‘Seeds Of Life’ and current live performances are sure signs of her interest in playing various musical instruments, such as the flute but also non-western instruments like the suling and gong. This 2013 album is the start of her collaborations with multi-talented musicians from the Bay Area and beyond, giving food for the soul to everyone who is hungry for cross-cultural, cross-genre music.



Lisa Graciano is a
Balinese-born, Jakarta/Manila/Singapore-raised, Oakland (by way of
Amsterdam) singer-songwriter, guitar player and multi-instrumentalist.
serves up a musical grilled Satay: a funky, bluesy offering spiced with
savory flecks of folk, reggae, rock, pop, R&B, and gamelan. A true
planetary citizen, shes a manifestation of western musical influences
washing up on the shores of Southeast Asia and mixing with already-rich
homegrown musical expressions.
Her band the Gracenotes bump from the bottom to the top and will drive her inspiring lyrics and tuneful grooves into your heart and hips. Her cross cultural music project, which she started in the spring of 2012 with the help of her husband Paul Miller, also includes musicians who have been playing non-western musical instruments for a very long time.

Band Members