Both an accomplished jazz singer and self-taught guitarist, Alicia Lemke began writing her own brand of folk music a little over a year ago, and has just released her first EP, entitled Shades of Motion. Musically speaking, Lemke is an amalgam of poetic and whimsical lyrics, lilting melody, finger-style guitar, and a graceful, strong voice. Her songs speak of her own self-awareness, honesty, and personal experience.
Though her first forays into music came from performing in community musical theater as early as middle school, Lemke's real musical passion came from 10 years of classical alto saxophone and jazz baritone saxophone. Her leadership in high school propelled her into college jazz ensemble, where she doubled as a baritone saxophonist and vocalist. Her discovery of vocal jazz inspired Lemke to take a semester off from school to work under the tutelage of jazz piano legend Garry Dial (Manhattan School of Music). It was during that spring in New York that Lemke picked up acoustic guitar and auditioned for Berklee College of Music.
A true midwestern girl, Lemke grew up in Wisconsin with a healthy exposure to nature, camping, and travel. Her love for the environment carried over into her course of study at Swarthmore College, where she graduated in May 2009 with an undergraduate degree in theater and biology. During her time at Swarthmore, Lemke spent a summer conducting field research in Northeast Queensland, Australia, where she fell in love with conservational sciences and environmental studies. This passion has taken its own musical turn, as Lemke and Canadian singer/songwriter Kiesza have teamed up to form the band Raising Redwood. Fueled both by their musical compatibility and mutual respect for planet Earth, Lemke and Kiesza hope to use their music to lead by example and raise awareness surrounding environmental issues. You can check out Raising Redwood's first endeavors on Youtube.