NAME: Zoë Lewis
INSTRUMENT: Vocal, piano, guitar, ukulele, harmonica, penny whistle, washboard, spoon, kazoo, human trumpet
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … “Look Sharp” by Joe Jackson, 1979. He was cool, AND he played piano – my main instrument!
2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … A revue of Cole Porter songs in our Village Hall. I was blown away by his amazing songwriting and immediately fell in love with the black and white movies. I still adore all of those old tunes, and they are what opened my ears to jazz without me even knowing it.
3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … an electric organ with chord buttons in the left hand – good for oompahs! I would play duets with my dad. I’d play the melody by ear with one finger.
4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … “Follow the Yellow Brick Road.” I was a munchkin in our village performance of “The Wizard of Oz”!
5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … A punk band called Namaste. They had a pet rat called Gerald who peed on my keyboard, so I left and joined a Latin jazz pop combo in London called Avanti. I was open to all sorts of music and was willing to jam to anything! I learned a lot of my Latin grooves from them and a lot about rats from the first band!
Currently touring in support of her new album, “Rotary Phone,” the worldbeat-vaudeville singer-songwriter Zoe Lewis lands at the Eighth Step at Proctors in Schenectady on Saturday. Showtime is 7:30pm. Tix are $18 in advance; $20 at the door.