The FIU Art Deco Combo is directed by Dr. Lisanne Lyons and consists of vocalists and a rhythm section who perform a varied and challenging repertoire of jazz and jazz-influenced music, as well as contemporary, latin, and a cappella styles. The group emphasizes close harmonies, improvisation, cutting-edge repertoire, and new works by students and FIU faculty. They also perform music from the library of Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, Swingle Singers, Groove for Thought, and original arrangements written by some of the finest jazz arrangers in the country. The group is open for audition for all FIU music students and all vocal jazz principles and majors.
In July 2021 the group was honored with a Student Music Award from Downbeat Magazine, widely recognized as the most prestigious publication in jazz education.
About The Director
Lisanne Lyon’s career began immediately following high school as the featured vocalist for the Air Force Bands. During her years in the service she performed and traveled worldwide with the “Norad Command Band, ”Travis AF “Band of the Golden Gate,” and the U.S. Air Force Academy “Falconaires.” She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s of Music and Doctorate in Music from the University of Miami Frost School of Music. As a student, she received two Down Beat “Dee Bee” awards for Best Jazz Vocalist and one for Best Jazz Arrangement. She was also invited to be a featured performer with Joel Grey on the NBC televised Orange Bowl half-time show, “You’ll Get a Kick Out of Cole.” Shortly after school, Cy Coleman selected her to replace Monica Mancini in the national touring company of his Tony award winning “City of Angels.”
Dr. Lyons has performed with the Woody Herman Orchestra, Maynard Ferguson Big Bop Nouveau, Arturo Sandoval, Larry Elgart, University of Miami Concert Jazz Band, Roanoke Symphony, Palm Beach Pops, Las Olas Studio Orchestra, South Florida Jazz Orchestra, Sunrise Pops Orchestra, Sugar Pops Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, Hallandale Pops Orchestra, Ars Flores Orchestra, Gene Krupa Orchestra with Michael Berkowitz, XL Big Band in Sweden, Harry James Orchestra, Artie Shaw Orchestra, and various bands across the country. She has also performed with many of the worlds top jazz artists such as Maria Schneider, Bobby McFerrin, Mark Murphy, Four Freshmen, Mose Allison, Jon Hendricks, Don Braden, Paul Bollenbach, Ted Rosenthal, Ira Sullivan, Duffy Jackson, Jim Pugh, Harold Jones, Dave Berkman, Eliane Elias, Claudia Acuna, Bucky Pizzerelli, Gary Burton, Dennis DiBlasio, John Fedchock, Walter White, Kevin Mahagony, and many others. Lisanne has recorded two solo CD’s, “Right as the Rain,” and “Smile,” with the John Toomey trio. “Smile” was met with critical praise including the Washington Post and Cadence magazine. She is in demand as a performer, adjudicator, arranger, and conductor.
In 2014, she joined the FIU School of Music as head of Jazz Vocal Studies and Director of the newly formed Jazz Vocal Ensemble. She made her successful debut at the Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center on November 19, 2014.