Armed with a voice called "glorious" and "angelic," Lisa Pertillar (pronounced, "per-TILL-er") Brevard specializes in a cappella singing blending gospel and jazz elements, letting listeners into her world. Her honest expressions of self-styled African-American spirituals have led loyal listeners to call her "Songbird" and "Nightengale."
Brevard's works in English and Spanish bridge African-American, Latin American and American Indian cultures, and range from scholarly essays to poetry, songs, lyrics and fiction (short and long forms). Her first volumes of poetry were published in 2004: Louisiana Dawn: Poems of a Grafted Life (a paperback book) and (The Amplified) Louisiana Dawn: Poems of a Grafted Life (a CD Audio Book featuring poems and music written and performed by the author).
A member of ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), Brevard's songs and lyrics are published by Monarch Baby Publishing.
Lisa Pertillar Brevard's debut spoken word/music CD, "In Praise of Ancestors," was released by her own Black Butterfly Records (www.blackbutterflyrecords.com) in 2004. "In Praise Of Ancestors" is an enhanced CD, with complete lyrics and liner notes included on the disk as a .pdf file. Says Brevard, "In Praise Of Ancestors honors those who came before, whose guiding spirits look over our shoulders to make sure that we are giving our best selves to this life."
Brevard describes working on the CD as a "healing process; a way of coping with the loss of my parents." She hopes that the words and melodies of "In Praise Of Ancestors" may help listeners cope with the loss of loved ones.
She is also at work on her first novel.
In 2003, she completed her first full-length play, "Black Butterfly: A Play in Three Acts," concerning the life and work of Madame E. Azalia Hackley (1867-1922), African-American singer and social activist.
In addition to formally studying music at a young age, and performing lecture-recitals of self-arranged African-American spirituals and her own original songs and poetry at colleges and universities throughout the United States and also in Paris, France, Brevard also has a sustained academic background in African Diasporan dance.
Brevard holds an earned Ph.D. in African-American Sacred Music & Literature, along with a Certificate in Women's Studies, from Emory University.
Brevard also served as Assistant to internationally-acclaimed dancer, choreographer and Anthropologist Pearl Primus.
Brevard credits her background in dance, as well as the lasting influence of her gospel composer/choral director mother, with providing much of the aesthetic principles upon which she builds words, melodies and songs that MOVE.
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"Lisa Pertillar Brevard's In Praise Of Ancestors, an enhanced English/Spanish debut CD on her own New Orleans-based Black Butterfly Records. Delivering a message of healing, the CD features spirituals, gospels, a cappella ballads and spoken word poetry in honor of her deceased parents."
-- Steppin' Out - "Released."
(ASCAP Playback Magazine, Volume 11 Issue 3 / Summer 2004)