Jayne and Jocelyn Lyell with their parents, John and Jennifer (c) Matt Edge
Photography

Family Portraits: Lyell

The ground-breaking FUN HOME is the latest theater work to explore, dramatize, and otherwise celebrate the family dynamic. As we anticipate the arrival of FUN HOME, we also celebrate real life Bay Area families. Here are Jayne and Jocelyn, students at the Oakland School for the Arts, both pursuing the love of music they were raised on.

When it comes to music, John and Jennifer Lyell have always shared common ground with their two daughters, Jayne and Jocelyn. "Yeah, I really got off easy," laughs John. "I never had to go through that phase of them wanting to listen to Justin Bieber or any of those boy bands. They've always just listened to music that we were raised on, which is classic rock."

Though John and Jennifer have spent most of their life living in the Bay Area, they've instilled a love of travel in their two daughters. In fact, the Lyells have made a tradition of spending every Christmas exploring faraway places. One destination that the family keeps returning to is New Orleans. "It's one of our favorite places besides the Bay Area to hang out," says John. "There's all this music happening in the streets. You walk down the street and there are performers everywhere. There's just so much art in New Orleans-- it's ridiculous."

Now teenagers, Jayne and Jocelyn are attending Oakland School for the Arts and are both actively pursuing their passions in music.

As a freshman, Jocelyn (known affectionately to her family as Squeak, a name dubbed by her older sister when she was a baby) has already performed with her acapella group at one of the Bay Area's most legendary music venues, The Fox Theater in Oakland. Though Jayne is focusing on musical theater in school, she plays multiple instruments including ukulele, guitar, and bass, and is in an all girls indie-rock band called Dead Girl's Candy that regularly performs in clubs all over the Bay Area. Last April the band won first place at the San Francisco Jewish Contemporary Museum's annual Battle of the Bands and was awarded recording time at the Jingletown Recording Studios, which is owned by Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, Green Day.

Attending Jayne's and Jocelyn's performances has given John a unique and inspiring glimpse into his daughters' characters as they grow up. "Watching your girls turn into women is kind of scary, but it's been amazing to see how independent and confident and fearless they're becoming. Honestly, I see them get on stage and they have nerves of steel. When they perform they are completely fearless."

The Lyell family: Jennifer, Jocelyn, Jayne and John

 (L to R) Jennifer Lyell with her daughters, Jocelyn and Jayne, and husband John (c) Matt Edge