Marla Lewis, New Jersey-born singer/songwriter, grew up listening to Ella Fitzgerald, big band, folk music from around the world, the Beatles, Laura Nyro, Carole King, James Taylor, Michael Franks, and Phoebe Snow, to name a few. For 25 years as an elementary school teacher, she began writing educational and fun songs for children. One of them, "Leap of Faith," co-written with Nancy Schimmel, appeared on a Grammy-winning children's album in 2011, entitled, ALL ABOUT BULLIES...BIG AND SMALL.
SONGBOOK VOLUME 2 is Marla Lewis' latest smooth jazz album, released March 14, 2023. Produced by two-time Grammy-winning producer/engineer Bob Stander, SBV2 contains six original tracks, featuring Marla’s vocals, Mike Ricchuiti on piano, Teddy Kumpel on electric guitar, Rob Jost on acoustic bass, Matt Miller on drums, Erik Lawrence on sax, Daniel Sadownick on percussion, and Adam Minkoff and Gabby Scherba performing backing vocal arrangements influenced by the Manhattan Transfer. SBV2’s first single, “Enchantée,” co-written with Laura Baron, has reached #1 and #2 on the World Indie and Euro Indie Charts, respectively.
With SONGBOOK, Marla switched genres from Children's Music to the smooth jazz, cabaret, and American Standards that she has always loved. Also Produced by Bob Stander, this album contains 14 original songs. The personnel are almost identical to SBV2, except for Sheila Gonzalez on Sax. Singles from that record are the R&B flavored “Blue Horizon” and “Kill the Lights," both of which charted on the World Indie and Euro Indie charts, reaching as high as #11. Since SONGBOOK was created entirely during the pandemic, all the musicians recorded multiple takes from their home studios, and Bob artfully pieced everything together as if everyone played together.
Marla has a song on a Grammy-Winning CD! Her tune, "Leap of Faith," co- written with Nancy Schimmel, appears on the album, ALL ABOUT BULLIES...BIG AND SMALL, which won Best Children's Recording at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. Marla also wrote 40 tunes for two seasons of The Super Supremes, an Internet cartoon show. She continues to compose songs for children who are seriously ill through Songs of Love, a national charitable foundation. (Check out some of those tunes on the Songs of Love Page!)
Both of Marla's Children's CD's have won prominent national and international awards. Her first, We All Laugh in the Same Language, was awarded NAPPA (National Association of Parenting Publications) Gold and Parents' Choice. Her second CD, I Love to Talk to Plants, won NAPPA Honors and Parents' Choice Gold. Many of her songs have received individual awards as well.
For 23 years, Marla worked as an elementary school teacher of English as a Second Language. In this capacity, she created songs and literacy programs to teach English to her ESL students in a fun way. One of these programs, entitled We Love to Read, co-written with ESL teacher Bernadette Falletta, is a musical/phonics program geared especially to learners of English.