ORIGINS & BEYOND

A New York native originally from Woodside, Queens, Isabel began playing piano and singing in choirs at an early age in Ossining, NY. In 2001, her family moved to the quiet town of Southold on the east end of Long Island, where she grew up on the water and honed her passion for music. Isabel began studying classical voice while falling in love with jazz, singing in select and all-state choirs during high school, including the 2008 NYSSMA all-state vocal jazz ensemble under the direction of Mr. Paris Rutherford. Her mind was made up to become a professional singer. She began writing her own songs and briefly attended The City College of New York to study vocal jazz performance. After the first year, she left school and spent time traveling. Soon after, Isabel began regularly performing at restaurants and venues in NYC and Long Island’s wine country, as well as with the vibrant rock band Starlight Girls. Securing a residency from 2012-2015, she was most often heard with Rob Europe of Foster Europe Band on Friday nights at Michelangelo’s Restaurant in Mattituck, NY. Based out of NYC, Ms. Alvarez continues to perform both as a soloist and with other artists whenever possible. Most recently Isabel formed LIL LIES, a genre-defying duo with saxophonist-singer and musical powerhouse James Delano. Olive Branch Cafe, Windamere at Strong’s Marina, The Halyard’s piano bar at The Soundview Inn, Brix & Rye, Raphael Vineyard, Jason’s Vineyard, and GST Village are a few of her regular venues. Collaborating with other artists is a main priority for Ms. Alvarez. She studies opera under the direction of Metropolitan Opera soprano, Ms. Atarah Hazzan. Isabel has been featured on three albums from NY hip-hop duo PENPALS, including 2016’s Made for the Underground (Song: Rockin’ Funky Lyrics), 2018’s To Whom It May Concern (Song: DeLorean), 2020’s EMERLD City All Stars (Song: The Stars My Destination) and their latest single “Easter Island” with EMERLD, released February 2021. When NYC is not sleeping, Isabel attends jams whenever possible and maintains the aspiration to continue singing and songwriting professionally in NY and beyond. Her latest project as VELISE embodies freedom and experimentation. Velise’s debut single, “Same Soul (Lost in Paradise)”, was produced over the course of two years by dear friend and fellow NYC artist Evan Crommett. The song questions origins, perception, time and space, and the single following, “Sunshine”, is her prayer. Ms. Alvarez writes with the healing power of song in mind, believing in music’s power both on a personal and grand, humanitarian level by offering connection, communication, movement, dance, inspiration, hope, change and growth, alongside the infinite outcomes of listening and participating. “It is one of the most important tasks in existence to find courage and release one’s gifts as they are naturally expressed from the body. It’s my life’s work to find ways to share in music, and use music as a catalyst for love.” Isabel’s sound is a blend of her biggest influences- early jazz, swing, classical music, Motown, rock ‘n roll, salsa, flamenco and hip-hop. A VELISE EP is currently in production as well as a full-length album from LIL LIES. The albums’ purposes are to “inspire whoever listens to persevere under any circumstances, with the ultimate motivation being love.”  -Isabel, 2021