With three decades of performing festivals, concert halls, coffeehouses, colleges, and house concerts, along with a half dozen acclaimed CDs, Bernice Lewis has built a solid national fan base. She is also a published poet, a producer, and an educator extraordinaire. Lewis — who studied vocal improvisation with Bobby McFerrin, guitar technique with Alex DeGrassi and Guy van Duser, and songwriting with Rosanne Cash and Cris Williamson — has been a featured performer on NPR’s Mountain Stage program, as well as at the Kennedy Center. In 1987, she was a finalist in the prestigious New Folk Songwriting Contest at the Kerrville (Texas) Folk Festival, where she continues to be a main stage favorite. Her ballad, “Bridges That Hold,” was included in Peter, Paul and Mary’s Lifelines video (PBS). She was featured in Yoga Journal for her work with sound and yoga, and has shared the stage with many renowned artists, including Dar Williams, Dixie Chicks, Patty Griffin, Pete Seegar, Ellis Paul, Rory Block, Livingston Taylor, Odetta, Christine Lavin, Marty Sexton, Patty Larkin, Catie Curtis… it’s a long list.
“For me, it’s about the songs, each different, each a well thought out message, each a labor of love,” says Bernice Lewis. Her most recent CD, She Undoes, was recorded in Nashville and produced by Grammy Award winner Charlie Chadwick (Suzi Bogguss, John Carter Cash, Kathy Mattea). It features a duet with fellow singer songwriter Cliff Eberhardt and a jazzy a cappella version of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You,” in addition to a collection of originals.
Bernice currently teaches Songwriting at Williams College and Colorado College, as well as at schools and retreat centers. She has also been an Artist in Residence and workshop presenter at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, Kripalu Center for Yoga in Lenox, MA, and Esalen Institute in Big Sur. In 2008, she was awarded an Artist in Residence position by the National Park Service.
Bernice is also becoming widely known for her History Alive presentation, a multi-media discussion of her family’s emigration from Nazi Germany, specifically designed for Junior and Senior High School classrooms. Her song, “Ways to Survive,” won an award from the American Zionist Movement in 1996.
She is a founding and current member of The Ladies Auxiliary Ukulele Orchestra.
Her writings and recordings will be archived in the Southwest Collection at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX.
In 2008. Bernice signed with the TV and film division of Shadow Mountain Music in Nashville. She has had a thirty-year daily yoga practice, loves good coffee, and her religion is the Grand Canyon.