Lise began her involvement with Balkan music in 1976 in the vibrant dance scene of the San Francisco Bay Area. She was a member and director of Westwind International Folk Ensemble for many years. At a Balkan music and dance camp Lise first heard the sound of the santoúri (Greek hammered dulcimer) and was hooked. She began studying santoúri with the EEFC favorite Yiannis Roussos.
In 1986, she and her husband George Chittenden moved to Athens, Greece, where she continued her studies with the master musician Tásos Dhiakogiórgos. Lise also had the opportunity for brief studies with two very different santouri masters: Yiannis Sousamlis, aka, Kakourgos; and the new style of Marios Papadeas.
Lise plays santoúri and accordion with George in the rockin’ Balkan border music band Édessa and with the Greek traditional band Ziyiá. She has toured internationally with Édessa, Ziyiá and Rebetiki Paréa. She has taught santoúri and Greek Ensemble at Balkan music workshops on both the West and East Coasts as well as in Hawaii, Canada, Japan, and Germany.
Click here to read an interview and profile of Lise in Kef Times.