Lisa Maxwell has composed, arranged, orchestrated, produced, and conducted music for small combos, horn sections, strings, big band and full orchestra. Part of the Emmy Award-winning music team for Warner Bros., Lisa was an orchestrator on all 52 episodes of Histeria! animated series, and Animaniacs: Wakko's Wish feature film. Her original music has been licensed for TV shows including: Sons of Anarchy, Person of Interest, Dexter, Burn Notice, Four Weddings, Gravity. Currently, Lisa is preparing to release her debut big band album, Shiny! Dedicated to legendary trumpeter Lew Soloff, it features Randy Brecker and an all-star band playing her charts.
As a sax player, Lisa led the horn sections on the Guns 'n' Roses Use Your Illusion world tour and Spinal Tap tour. She has also performed with the Machito Big Band, Gil Evans Orchestra, Charlie Haden, Tony Scott, Hiram Bullock, Will Lee, Steven Tyler, Lenny Kravitz, Carole King, Bruce Willis Band, Chuck Berry, Smokey Hormel, Chester Whitmore, The Joni Mitchell Project, Fox TV's "Sibs" and "Phenom" (James Brooks) live studio bands, "Duckman" cartoon, the MTV Awards, and the National Association of Songwriters Awards shows.
Born in Los Angeles, Lisa started playing piano at age 6. At 15, she switched briefly to 5-string banjo, and finally settled on the saxophone. At 17, she took a film scoring class at UCLA and realized she wanted to write music for lots of instruments. Trumpeter Ray Copeland taught her jazz arranging, and Charlie Haden let her sit in on his classes at Cal Arts. Lisa attended Manhattan School of Music to study saxophone with Joe Allard, and spent most nights in clubs, where she met her musical heroes. Lisa returned to L.A. to study composing and arranging with Dick Grove in Studio City; and then won the Quincy Jones Arranging Scholarship to Berklee College of Music, where Herb Pomeroy taught her Duke Ellington's nuanced line-writing techniques.
Lisa's latest project, Shiny!, is her debut album as a composer and arranger,featuring an all-star jazz orchestra of New York's top players, including: Randy Brecker, Will Lee, Paul Shaffer, Mike Stern, Lou Marini, Mark Egan, Danny Gottlieb, Tom Malone, Ada Rovatti, Lawrence Feldman, Roger Rosenberg, Kenya Hathaway, Steven Wolf, Dave Taylor, David Mann, Pete Levin, Oz Noy, Ben Perowsky, Andy Ezrin, Alex Foster, Carmen Staaf, Dan Levine, Leni Stern, Smokey Hormel, David Delhomme, John Clark, Chris Rogers, Claire Daly, Tony Kadleck, Michael Davis, Wayne Du Maine, Beth Gottlieb, Daniel Sadownick, Bryan Davis, David Finck and Mocean Worker! Lisa currently lives in Manhattan and loves comedy.
Person of Interest, 2014-2017, CBS TV - Various episodes (composer, source music)
Sons of Anarchy, 2011, FX Network - "Na Triobloidi" (composer, source music)
Dexter, 2011, Showtime - "Smokey and the Bandit" (composer, source music)
Burn Notice, 2011, USA - "Past and Future Tense" (composer, source music)
Gravity, 2010, STARZ - "Suicide Dummies" (composer, source music)
Gravity, 2010, STARZ - "Namaste" (composer, source music)
Gravity, 2010, STARZ - "Old People Creep Me Out" (composer, source music)
Four Weddings, 2010, TLC - "...And a Bus to Catch" (composer, source music)
Four Weddings, 2010, TLC- "...And Potato Chips and Onion Dip" (composer, source music)
Four Weddings, 2010, TLC - "...And a Love Hike" (composer, source music)
Four Weddings, 2010, TLC - "...And a Wild Goose Chase" (composer, source music)
Four Weddings, 2009, TLC- "...And Something Blue" (composer, source music)
Histeria!, 1998-2000 Warner Brothers Television, - All episodes: #1-55 (orchestrator)Emmy Award!
PBS American Experience: Edison's Miracle of Light, 1994, PBS Television (orchestrator, copyist)
Duckman Cartoon, Paramount Network Television, 1994, (saxophone, orchestrator)
Stephen Spielberg Presents Animaniacs: Wakko's Wish, 1999, Warner Brothers Entertainment (orchestrator)
Summer in the Square Concerts, 2005, Union Square, NYC, Meetinghouse Big Band, Featured Composer
Histeria!, 1999 - 2000, Warner Bros., Best Musical Direction in a Daytime Show Emmy Award!
Animaniacs, 1998 - 1999, Warner Bros., Best Musical Direction in a Daytime Show Emmy Award!
Sugarbeats: 21 Really Cool Songs, 1994, (co-producer, saxophone, orchestrator)
Believe in Me, Duff McKagan, 1993, Geffen Records"Could It Be U" (string arranger)
Bayless Meets Bernstein: West Side Story Variations, John Bayless, 1992, Columbia Records (orchestrator, copyist)
Guns 'n' Roses "Use Your Illusion" World Tour, 1991-93 (horn section leader, arranger)
The Joni Mitchell Project, L.A. Theater Center (saxophones, synthesizer)
Sugarbeats: 21 Really Cool Songs (co-producer, saxophone)
Education and Principal Teachers:
Berklee College of Music, Quincy Jones Arranging Scholarship - Herb Pomeroy, composition/arranging; Joe Viola, sax
Dick Grove School of Music, Composing and Arranging Program - Dick Grove
Manhattan School of Music - Joe Allard, saxophone
Hampshire College - Ray Copeland, arranging; Art Matthews, piano
UCLA film scoring (age 17) - Don Ray, composing