Dwayna Litz is an American singer, songwriter, author and speaker with music currently published by Universal Music, Spirit Music and her own ASCAP publishing company, Litz Music. . Her songs are available on Pandora Radio, Spotify, Apple Music, Walmart, iTunes , Amazon, and everywhere digital music is sold. She was featured on Music Dish TV with her remake of the old Jazz standard “Satisfy My Soul,” first recorded by Ella Johnson in 1950. This single was from her album, “Counting Your Blessings,” new renditions of the Great American Songbook recorded with a full orchestra at Tony Bennett’s studio in Englewood, NJ. She was the last artist to record there before it closed, with Dae Bennett booking her as one of one of the last of the big band venues for recording. The project was recorded with a twelve-piece orchestra including Jazz Trombonist John Allred. After hearing the album, Michael Steinman, of Jazz Lives said, “Dwayna Litz can sing…”
Dwayna’s first cut as a songwriter was on Patti LaBelle’s Grammy nominated “Flame” album with a song she co-wrote, “Let Me Be There for You” with the song also recorded for a jingle with AT&T. Dwayna recorded the first of many projects with the award winning Crouch brothers, Tim Crouch and Dennis Crouch , for her “Mountain Music” album recording at Soundstage Nashville of funky, bluegrass standards for a distribution deal with Walmart. Dwayna’s album “I’m the Girl I Used to Know Again” featuring piano vocals with Jeff Franzel and Tony Guerrero on trumpet was recorded at Dubway Studios in Manhattan and has been compared to Norah Jones, including her song “Yes I Would,” written with R&B hit writer, Hubert Eaves. She has trained at the Singer’s Forum in NYC where she garnered a scholarship to study musical theater and was coached by Renee Grant Williams while working as a recording artist in Nashville. She has been accompanied around Manhattan by pianist Matthew O’Dell. She has also sung jingles for Sony Japan for “Listen to Your Heart” and was one of the many artists chosen to sing the jingle of “Heartbeat of America” for Chevrolet back in 1988, just starting out as a teen demo and jingle singer on Music Row.
Mark Miller (producer for Garth Brooks with Musicians Hall of Fame and engineer for Garth Brooks album “No Fences” ), produced Dwayna recording songs such as “Sweet Memories” written by Garth Brooks and Pat Alger and “Lovin’ On The Edge” by Kostas at Jack’s Tracks Studios owned by Allen Reynolds on Music Row in Nashville. She has collaborated with award winning writers such as Larry Henley, Larry Shell, Bruce Burch, Vip Vipperman, Sam Lorber, Pete Wasner, Michael Garvin, Greg Barnhill, Gloria Sklerov and Rivers Rutherford for Warner Brothers and Universal Music. Lulu Roman recorded “When I Don’t Call Your Name” co-written by Dwayna Litz, Tony Harrell and Mike Wells on her album “Seven Times” with performances on cable networks including CBN.
“Walking in the Light” is a video project dedicated to the survivors of school shootings…and crimes against humanity such as the shooting at Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston, SC, (where Dwayna was asked to sing a solo of the old hymn, “Til the Storm Passes By,” on a Sunday morning following the murders in 2015. That morning, as she sang with a standing ovation, Pastor Goff, interim pastor of Mother Emmanuel, saw everyone worshipping together, not based on race, just like he had prayed would happen when he asked Dwayna to come and sing a solo after hearing her singing hymns in the Wednesday night prayer meeting prior, where she had come to give gifts to the church). The “Walking in the Light” project is for victims of hate crimes against humanity, especially dedicated to families who have lost innocent loved ones in these acts of violence. It was written to unite people –no matter race, politics or social class–for the sake of America to heal, one person at a time.
Her book, ‘Happiness No Man Required—50 Tips for Single Women to be Happy With or Without A Man,’ distributed by Ingram Random House was not written as a man basher but for abused women to know their worth. Huffington Post Thrive Global reviewed it as “an honest portrait of today’s dating scene” and interviewed her on her national book tour with Barnes and Noble after it was released in 2016. She was featured with interviews for major television networks on her tips for women including Fox and ABC.
Dwayna is booked through All American Entertainment Celebrity Booking as an author and speaker. She has donated her books to battered women’s shelters, homes for pregnant women, worked in activism helping prostitutes get off the streets in New Orleans; as well as donating her books for women in prison as part of the rehabilitation programs affiliated with Angola Prison , receiving the “key to Angola” from Warden Burl Cain.
Dwayna also has a passion for helping underprivileged children. Partnering with Walmart, Target, Belk, Kroger, Publix and Dunkin Donuts, she began a Character Counts Club for kids being raised in the projects of Nashville, providing at least one gift to open on Christmas per child and a warm coat for each child to wear in the winter. This expanded to Newtown, FL with an outreach to underprivileged Hispanic kids and teens and an after-school program for latch key kids scheduled to begin in the winter of 2022 and is continuing to expand to Orlando and Daytona Beach. Dwayna is a certified health coach and helps people lose weight and break food addiction for free with a donation that goes to help more underprivileged children via her nonprofit. Dwayna has been interviewed about the unique work of her Christian nonprofit, Lighting the Way, on Jan Markell’s Understanding the Times, American Family Radio , Family Life Today , VCY America and has been a featured guest on Radio Liberty with Dr. Stan Monteith . Dwayna’s nonprofit was awarded “Best in Manhattan” four years in a row for her outreach in NYC at Columbus Circle and Union Square.
RADIO, TV, MAGAZINE INTERVIEWS: Christian Worldview Network, Radio Liberty with Dr. Stan Monteith, Crosstalk Radio, Family Life Today, BBN, CNN Atlanta, Sermon Audio, Sirius XM: Walter Martín Radio, Understanding the Times/Olive Tree News, Crossroads, Lighthouse Trails, Fox 46 Charlotte, ABC Richmond, Alive (Australia), Thunder Country Radio FM 104.7 (TN, NC, WV), WMCA, AM570 Spirit Radio (NYC, NJ), MUSIC: Sony Jingle for Japan “Listen to Your Heart”; “Today’s Chevrolet” jingle (TN ), WSM (Nashville); Spotify, Pandora, Apple, Napster, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Walmart, Best Buy and everywhere digital music is heard. (TV, newspapers and radio from ages 10-15 as a soloist include Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Korea, India, Haiti ).
“Dwayna Litz is a deeply moving singer, strongly connected to the message in her songs. She has the ability to draw in an audience because of her expressive vocalism and musicality. Dwayna sets herself apart from other singers because of her professionalism and innate musicianship.” —Matthew Odell, pianist
“What an artist to collaborate with! Dwayna has an earthy, authentic and soulful country voice that is unmistakably hers. And her beauty of musical Spirit matches her physical beauty as well. Believe me, that helps in today’s market. I was so happy and proud to hear the finished product of Dwayna’s production of our song ‘Yes I Would.’ As I continue to listen to the whole album ‘I’m the Girl I Used to Know Again,’ I am so impressed. She has great songs and has chosen great musicians, singers and studios to make for a CD of great performances. I believe this album is a classic, and I’m so proud to be her friend and co-writer.” —Hubert Eaves III, musician, producer, writer, arranger for such artists as Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, Madonna, D Train, Aretha Franklin, Biggie Smalls, Miles Davis, most notably
“Dwayna Litz is an exceptional talent, and I had the honor of recording piano on her album ‘I’m the Girl I Used to Know Again.’ It’s rare to meet a singer these days with a signature sound as well as an amazing songwriting talent. Having the two, as well as great performing skills, is a unique gift. I feel that Dwayna will have a successful career and look forward to continuing our great musical collaboration together.” —Jeff Franzel, pianist, songwriter (Discography includes working with artists from Frank Sinatra to writing songs for Taylor Dayne with songwriting credits also in film)
“There are lots of singers and lots of songwriters out there, but there are very few who come straight from the heart. Dwayna Litz is one of those singer/songwriters. Her joy and sincerity are palpable in her music, and her connection to the lyric is always heartfelt and authentic. This isn’t music for music’s sake, but music from the heart of a very talented woman. The industry needs more Dwaynas!” – Tony Guerrero, Jazz trumpeter, songwriter, producer (Discography including Freddie Hubbard, Tom Scott, Brian Wilson, Billy Idol, Slash, Phil Keaggy and David Pack)
“I was recently surprised when I received a copy of a CD project I played on. In the studio it was hard to tell what the end result was to be. I was smiling ear to ear when I heard Dwayna’s wonderful voice on the recording. She has such great presence and control. I was very impressed with the down to earth and soulful feeling conveyed in her music. I’d be happy to share the stage with Dwayna in any musical situation. Keep your eyes and ears focused on her! She’s an angel….” —John Allred, Jazz Trombonist
“Dwayna is one of the most expressive singers I’ve had the pleasure to work with. It’s rare to find an artist who sings from their heart and their soul.” –Mark Miller, mixing engineer for Garth Brook’s mega hit album “No Fences” and all of Garth’s albums, currently working as producer and engineer for Garth Brooks .
“Dwayna has always been a star. Her voice is so warm and expressive that you feel like you have found a dear friend as soon as you hear her sing. Her new collection is intimate and cozy, confessional and honest. Refreshingly free of over produced bombast and wonderfully easy on the ears. Dwayna and her timeless music are excellent company. Experience her delightful musical presence for yourself…” —Vip Vipperman, songwriter BMI Billionaire Award for writing “1982” recorded by Randy Travis, ASCAP award for “1982” by Randy Travis, Nominated for CMA Song of the Year; Grammy Award for Best Country Album “The Cold, Hard Truth” by George Jones for his third single “Sinners and Saints” (Discography also includes cuts with Reba McEntire , LeAnne Rimes, Trace Adkins and John Michael Montgomery)
“Dwayna is an extremely beautiful girl with the voice of an angel. Lookout world, here she comes!” —Larry Henley, Grammy winner for writing “Wind Beneath My Wings” which won a Grammy for Song of the Year by Bette Midler in Beaches soundtrack; inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame for this song and his many other hits in both country and pop music.
“The first time I met Dwayna I knew without question she was bound for success. She has a passion and a joy for life and her music. Being a former A&R executive, it’s one of the most important qualities we look for in an artist. She has all of that and more. Dwayna can deliver songs in all styles, whether it be Jazz, big band, bluegrass or contemporary country. Dwayna’s music will be a beautiful blessing to you.” —Larry Shell, songwriter and former A&R director at Polydor Records, A&M Records and Broken Bow Records (Discography includes co-writing “Murder on Music Row” , which was CMA Song of the Year recorded by George Strait and Alan Jackson)
Born in Knoxville, TN, Dwayna Litz began performing in front of audiences at age two in churches, civic clubs and weddings. Dwayna grew up singing hymns in Baptist churches as a soloist, traveling as a child to sing in revival meetings throughout America, as well as Korea, Haiti and India. Dwayna shared platforms with Christian artists such as Larnelle Harris, opening for him in concert at age ten. Charles Stanley, then president of the Southern Baptist Convention, said he was very impressed with her when she sang at age twelve in his church First Baptist Atlanta when her microphone stopped working, and she just kept on singing her solo. Dwayna had a leading role singing in the opera, “The Happy Prince” at age ten. When she auditioned for the movie “Annie,” she was motioned by Garrison True, the director, to come to his table and talk privately to him and other judges. He said, “You are exactly what we are looking for, but you are just too tall.” She won “Best of Show” in musical theater for the state of FL when she was a sophomore in high school for her rendition of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” at FL State University.
Dwayna recorded her third album in Nashville at age fifteen with the CMA orchestra arranger Australian Bill Walker, which was the same year she opened for Charlie McClain and her husband Wayne Massey at the Central FL State Fair. She spent the following summer at age sixteen singing country and bluegrass music at Archie Campbell’s Hee Haw Village in Pigeon Forge, TN, and moved to Nashville at age seventeen and spent her senior year of high school hanging out backstage at the Grand Old Opry and singing on the “Grand Old Gospel Music Hour” on Saturday nights. Dwayna began singing demos and jingles on Music Row at age eighteen and signed her first publishing deal in Nashville at age nineteen with Harris Richardson Music, whose catalog was later sold to Universal. She was signed as an artist with Larry Butler producing that same year. She also worked with Buddy Killen at age twenty-one when Buddy signed her as a singer/songwriter at Buddy Killen Music saying she was “star quality.” The catalog was sold to Cal IV Entertainment, which was then bought by Spirit Music. After having production deals with songwriters like Rivers Rutherford and Michael Garvin, Dwayna was later signed to Sanjek Entertainment with Rick Sanjek as manager in Nashville. She has been under contract with Arista Records and Warner Brothers as a singer/songwriter.
She entertained three nights a week around Manhattan in the 90s with a song list of 100 songs from the Great American Songbook with her blind pianist, Jimmy Hill. They gigged in the West Village , Lincoln Center and West Harlem with a Gospel Brunch on Sundays in Brooklyn where she sang two sets of a tribute to Mahalia Jackson.
Dwayna Litz has worked most of her life as an artist based out of either Nashville, Los Angeles or NYC as a singer, songwriter, author, inspirational speaker and founder of her nonprofit organization Lighting the Way International.
“My Prize” album –Christian; recorded in Manhattan 2009; “Still” album– Christian; recorded in NYC and Tree Sound in Atlanta 2011; “Counting Your Blessings” –Jazz standards from the Great American Songbook; recorded with full orchestra as the last artist to record in Tony Bennett’s studio in NJ with overdubs in NYC 2012; “I’m the Girl I Used to Know Again”–Easy Listening, Contemporary Country, Folk, Singer/Songwriter album of piano and guitar vocals; recorded in NYC at Dubway and finished in Nashville 2014; “Mountain Music” –Traditional Country and Bluegrass standards with one song she wrote for her grandfather “Pickin’ Bluegrass in the Backyard” and “Stroll Over Heaven” for her grandparents who have passed away; recorded in Nashville 2018 at Soundstage Studios.
“From the Heart of a Child”–first album of Christian music recorded at age 10 of songs Dwayna grew up singing in churches as a child; “From the Heart of a Teen”–second album of Christian music recorded at age 13, as songs Dwayna sang traveling as a soloist in Baptist revival meetings as a teen. These old recordings represent a church culture of days gone by in America, along with an era of Christian music no longer sung in churches.