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08-Jan-2021

Breaking News: Passing of Jeff Lisenby - USA

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Jeff LisenbyVideo 1: Jeff Lisenby, 1990: Ease on Down the Road, Heinz Siemens youtube.

Picture lower right: historic 1977 poster as ATG Champion.

Accordions Worldwide sadly reports the untimely passing (Covid) of Jeff Lisenby on January 6th, 2021. Jeff was a wonderful gifted musician highly respected by all, with a large number of tributes currently posted on social media.

He earned a Master’s Degree from The Conservatory of Music of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Jeff was a two time national accordion champion and a bronze medalist in the Coupe Mondiale International Classical accordion competitions. “When I was a kid,” Lisenby said, “my goal was to win the world accordion championship, which was for ‘serious’ music. So I was practicing 7-8 hours a day when I was a teenager. I would get tired of practicing the ‘heavy’ music, and then I would start playing pop or jazz standard tunes and improvising on them. It was a good musical mix for me.”

Lisenby used his genius on the accordion and keyboards to carve a niche market for himself and performed with the Nashville, Kansas City, and Los Angeles Symphonies, the Palm Beach Pops Orchestra, and a gig accompanying Luciano Pavarotti during part of his USA tour.

Certainly not limited to classical music, Lisenby toured extensively with the Mills Brothers, Boots Randolph, and Brenda Lee, and accompanied Lee Greenwood, Donna Summer, Tricia Yearwood, Three-Dog Night, The Coasters, David Cassidy, Marty Stuart, Jo Dee Messina, Pam Tillis, Loretta Lynn, Roy Clark, and Dolly Parton, to name a few.

Recently, Lisenby was honored to be the conductor/pianist/orchestrator for "Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash”, for which he pulled from his extensive experience backing country artists in Nashville. Lisenby was also one of the first-call accordionists for recording sessions in Nashville.

Projects he worked on included the Grammy-winning album: “Songs from the Neighborhood; the Music of Mister Rogers”, and jingles for Budweiser and Sutherland’s Lumber (which he also wrote and produced). Lisenby taught for Belmont University’s School of Music and was active in the Nashville recording scene. He also presented seminars for the ATG.

Jeff Lisenby will be greatly missed by all.
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