Zoe Lewis

Zoe Lewis



ZOË LEWIS is a band in a body! She plays jazz, jump jive, latin grooves, swing, international folk, funk originals on anything from the piano to the spoons! Troubadour/vaudevillian/storyteller/singer-songwriter/piece of work!

WINNER of the Colorado Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Troubadour Award in 2003, NEW FOLK WINNER 2002 at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas and 2001 Falconridge Folk Festival AUDIENCE FAVORITE and now she's getting booked to play many of the main stages with virtuoso jazz recorder player ROXANNE LAYTON (from Mannheim Steamroller).

ZOË'S performed with a whole host of incredible musicians including JULIE WOLF (Ani DiFranco, Bruce Cockburn), GAIL ANN DORSEY (David Bowie), PAUL PIERCY (Dixie Chicks), FREEBO (Bonnie Raitt) and is soon to tour with JUDY COLLINS and NANCI GRIFFITH.

Originally from England, she now resides in Provincetown, MA, U.S.A. where she performs every summer to the Cape Cod tourists. Her music's upbeat, amusing and perfect for young and old alike. She's traveled all over the globe picking up worldbeat grooves and stories on the way; jumping box cars, riding on freight boats and has even played music with an elephant orchestra in Thailand. While at once setting listeners off balance with her quirky spin on things she sneaks in simple, potent messages, leaving audiences worn out and inspired.

ZOË started studying music (piano) in England at the age of seven in her little village on the south coast of England, Rottingdean. She began performing professionally playing the Hammond organ, piano and synthesizer for London Latin jazz ten-piece band AVANTI in 1986. The band toured the UK and cut a record. She went solo in 1988, performed piano / vocal jazz standards from the '30s and '40s in London pubs and later worked in South America and in the Caribbean.

In 1990, she arrived in the United States and began performing originals on guitar, piano, harmonica, ukulele, penny whistle, accordion, and human trumpet and has since then toured extensively, performing at numerous folk clubs, coffee houses, colleges, music festivals and pride marches. She has taught workshops in schools and has written a musical for children entitled PESTS! Her workshop "Music in our Pockets" encourages people to redefine their meaning of music; there's music on the streets, on our bodies, in nature, even in our pockets if only we open up our ears. Loose change, a set of keys can be used to make wonderful noise. With the help of African calabash, Jamaican steel pans, gourds, coconuts, trash cans, thumb pianos, conch shells and musical saws she demonstrates the point!

In 1992 she began to perform in a variety of different acts in Provincetown on Cape Cod for the summer season. She became a local favourite and won Provincetown Paper's "About Town Awards" for best piano player and best comedy duo. She's toured all over the Unites States, has performed in England, Germany, Australia and aboard OLIVIA cruises. As well as continuing her solo career she is receiving much acclaim for her quartet ZOË LEWIS and her RUBBER BAND with Seattle bassist KATE WOLF, Quebec City percussionist SYLVIE RICHARD and ROXANNE LAYTON, on recorder. Performing upbeat and edgy tunes on a variety of weird instruments, telling traveling tales that'll take you from England to New Orleans by way of Bangkok and Guatemala, they bend the notes and stretch your imagination!


Small is Tremendous

Written By: Zoe Lewis

I've got a head full of questions
of peace and war
and I'm wondering what all
this fighting's for
underneath it all we're just
the same so let's start
to peel away the layers of
our onion hearts

When I'm far away
people are kind
just like the ones we left behind
and as if by magic the answers come
when there's a tiny baby
holding onto my thumb

It's the littlest things
(make the biggest sense)
because small
small is tremendous

Yes it's a big old world
but it's a small one too
and I'm holding out my hand to you
like a fish out of water traveling about
like a mormon temple I'm sticking out

But I want to see things
with my own eyes
I've had it up to here with television lies
things are not what they seem today
look at that leaf, it's walking away!
It's the littlest...
When a butterfly flaps its wings
it affects quite a lot of things
like the African breeze I'm told
by a very wise six year old
if I could sit still a while
I might even hear you smile
an invisible kind of glue
sticks you to me, me to you
stick you to me and me to you

Well I'm standing in
the immigration queue
I'm a legal alien
but I'm human too
across all these borders
walls and lines
my god is your god
and your god is mine

Civilization, what a funny word
it'll be the end of us all I've heard
if you don't got a lot
you don't get in a mess
your load's always lighter
if you carry much less

Breakfast in Bangkok

Written By: Zoe Lewis

Far in the east the land of
"King and I" is quite beguiling
where golden Buddhas rest
and orange monks are
gently smiling
I've seen a lot of noodles, fried
grasshoppers, curried worms
I've put my feat behind enormous
ears of pachyderms

Beyond the thin blue curtain
swings a bustling corridor
shadows of rice paddies fly by
like dreams as the engines roar
I'm like a hermit crab tucked up
safely in my shell
tomorrow's stories will be
full of wonder I can tell

I'm on the night train
I took my lunch in Chang Mai
I'm on the night train
I sipped some tea in Sukhothai
if we keep riding
along these rails without a stop
I might make breakfast in Bangkok

The peaceful coo of doves
inside an ancient temple wall
outside the kamikaze tuk-tuks
and the taxis brawl
a little motorcycle buzzes
in between the cars
with three upon the seat
and two more on the handlebars

This giant caterpillar jolts
and jerks into the night
the blurry towns and station
platforms vanish out of sight
and even when it's very old
to me it's very new
it's very good to see things
from another point of view
night train....

And in the morning when the
mighty sun begins to smile
a symphony of vendors
sing out wares along the aisle
red and yellow curries
mangos, sticky rice
little plastic bags of sugared
coffee, coloured ice

And I can tell we're slowing down
we must be almost there
I smell the beauty and the
sadness in the city air
the orchid blossoms where
exotic girls and rent boys roam

It's strange how many western
men take holidays alone
night train...


Written By: Zoe Lewis

Woke up this morning
to a rooster's cry
had to pinch myself to see
that I wasn't dreaming
merengue and salsa on the radio
sing along in the kitchen
make it louder
when the baby's screaming
don't forget the beans
on the stove are boiling over
don't forget to be
a good mother and wife
27 brothers and sisters later
you opened up your doors
and let me into your life

There was Juan and Mercedes
and Otto and Carlos
Kitano the dog and baby Julio
Francisco, Juanita
and sweet Carmencita
a statue of the holy Mary and

Woke up this morning
on a multicolored bus
had to pinch myself
to see that I wasn't dreaming
skimming past bicycles
screeching 'round corners
will we make it up this hill
when the engine is streaming
sat next to a woman
with a baby on her breast
sat next to a chicken
on its way to heaven
face to face, nose to nose
cheek to cheek
capacity says 40
but I counted 97!

There were fathers and brothers
and cloth of bright colours
baskets of coffee and avocados
mothers and daughters
more children, more bananas
swinging crucifixes and

Woke up this morning
it was market day
had to pinch myself
to see that I wasn't dreaming
baskets and barrowfuls
strecthed to the seams
everywhere I look
people come teeming
beating down prices
getting good deals
make just enough
to feed the family
spent all week weaving
and plowing them fields
one dollar more
makes a big difference to me
There were shimmering dresses
strings of bead necklaces
rice bags and beans
and plantains and mangos
meats and dried fishes
and sugarcane dishes
one million more Madonnas and