From the Big Island of Hawaii, Lisa Lehua Taylor has been singing her entire life. Growing up in a household where she was exposed to Theatre at a very young age and her parents played everything from Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell and The Beatles to Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, she was always encouraged to pursue her love of music. Lisa finally started performing at the age of 10 and hasn’t stopped since! After years of making a living as a vocalist in her home state, and performing with some of the best musicians the State has to offer, she’s also performed in Japan, Korea and Singapore. Since moving to Santa Cruz 8 years ago, Lisa has quickly built a name for herself on the Central Coast and Bay Area. As well as being the lead vocalist for her band SoulCity, Lisa has also lent her vocal talent to many recording projects and completed her debut album “LT” in 2010.
Her new release “Let Love Shine” was released February 1, 2013, and has been receiving rave reviews. A top seller on both the neo-soul and urban R&B charts on cdbaby, the album had four singles in the top-40 on Amazon UK’s mp3 chart for neo-soul, with her singles “Used To Be The One’ and “Funny Feeling” making it to the number one spot. “Let Love Shine” was also a top-seller for neo-soul on Amazon (US) and has had seven singles on the top-40 mp3 chart. This Sophomore release made it’s debut on the UK Soul Chart at #21 and by week two had jumped to #14. Next, it spent four weeks at the #1 spot. It also reached #1 on The Independent Soul Chart (UK) and got great reviews on The BBC’s Paul Miller Soul Show. Her album just had it’s official release in Japan as well, on the Sweet Soul Records label. She is currently working on an EP, due for release in April, as well as a deep house project with Hideo Kobayashi (Japan.) On top of it all, her new singles, “Stand Tall (Woman)” A collaboration with the UK’s ReGrooved and DaPaul Philips, and Valentine’s Day release “Your Smile Tells Me” are both doing very well. The word is out, Lisa Taylor is an exciting new voice on the soul scene.
Local Santa Cruz Band Echo Street Brings Their Infectious Brand Of Funky Reggae
Echo Street features the lead vocals and guitar playing of Jason Bryant. Bryant honed his reggae chops serving as Damien Marley’s guitarist from 2006-2009. After touring the world multiple times with Damian Marley, Jason Bryant decided to dedicate his time to studying Buddhism. Four years later he emerged with a deeper perspective and passion to play Reggae, Funk, and R&B. He then moved to Santa Cruz and met Pete Sawyer, songwriter and guitarist for San Francisco’s improvisational rock icons Seconds On End. The pair became good friends and began writing songs together. Combining their melodies and lyrics with Bryant’s ethereal voice convinced the two that they should form a band; thus, Echo Street was born.
Incorporating the talents of Murph Murphy on bass (Freddy Jones, Stu Allen, Guitarmaggedon), Jeremy Hoening on drums (deSol, Jimmie Leslie), Elliott Nguyen on keys/vocals (UCSC opera, Creme Brûlée) and Yuliya Eydelnant on vocals (SJSU Jazz ensemble, Cabrillo Stage Musical Theatre Ensemble), Echo Street seamlessly blends their own compositions with booty-shaking covers by Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield and Bill Withers into a highly danceable brew of reggae, funk, r&b and world music. Santa Cruz is a town that loves it’s reggae and every time Echo Street hits the stage everyone in the room hits the dance floor.