With passion and skill, Wendy has been delivering smart and arresting jazz to the mountains of Western NC and in the process has become one of the most popular artists in the region. She consistently receives accolades for her energetic and entertaining renditions of swing, bop, post bop, and Great American Songbook standards.
She will be returning to the recording studio at the end of January 2014 to record her newest project with pianist Michael Jefry Stevens. The new album will be a collaboration that features Michael's original compositions.
Born in Steubenville, Ohio, Wendy has always loved music and singing. However, being quite shy, she would never sing in front of anyone - she would only sing when no one could hear her. Still, her shyness could not suppress her desire to communicate through music and at age 12 she took up the flute. It was through music that Wendy was able to express those ideas and thoughts for which she could not find the words...small wonder then, why jazz, steeped in improvisation and deep personal expression, now provides an intriguing medium for her.
Wendy attended Appalachian State University on a flute scholarship and it was there that shyness gave way to the deep desire to sing. During her sophomore year, she changed her major to vocal performance and her singing career was launched.
Wendy received a B.M. and an M.M. in vocal performance from ASU and then joined the voice faculty there where she taught for 8 years before embarking on a full time, professional singing/acting career. Having sung with Opera Carolina, Appalachian Opera Theatre, and the Brevard Music Center, her favorite opera roles include Adina in L'Elisir d'Amore, Laetitia in The Old Maid and the Thief, and Papagena in Die Zauberflote. An accomplished Equity actress as well as singer, Wendy has appeared in leading roles on stages of many prominent professional theatres throughout the U.S. including Florida Repertory Theatre, Flat Rock Playhouse, Little Theatre on the Square (IL), Temple Theatre, and Blowing Rock Stage Company. She received glowing reviews for her portrayals of Kate in Kiss Me Kate, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Miss Sandra in All Shook Up and Brenda in Smokey Joe's Cafe...to name just a few.
She was also one of nine singers chosen after extensive auditions in North America, Europe, and Australia, to appear at Tokyo Disney in the Broadway review ENCORE!
From 1991 - 2008 she was a frequent headliner and lead production singer on cruise ships and it was during this time the she wrote Everything is Rosie (a one-woman show celebrating the life of Rosemary Clooney) and Ladies and Gentlemen (a cabaret show celebrating the pioneers of traditional pop music such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee, and Ella Fitzgerald). Each of the shows premiered in south Florida at the Winter Park Playhouse in 2009 and 2010, respectively. When asked if these singers are relevant today, Jones responds, "I believe they're all relevant today, as the ability to interpret a lyric never goes out of style. We are talking about the masters here."
She received additional pedagogical training with the late Richard Miller at the Institute of Vocal Performance/Pedagogy at Oberlin College and has worked with nationally and internationally known jazz educators Michele Weir (UCLA), Greg Jasperes (Western Michigan), Jennifer Barnes, (University of North Texas), Rosana Eckert (University of North Texas), Larry Lapin (University of Miami), New York Voices, and Jay Clayton (Peabody Institute)
Wendy is currently on the faculty at University of North Carolina - Asheville where she teaches jazz and classical voice techniques to music majors and where she directs the university vocal jazz ensemble - Studio 18. She is also on staff at The Music Academy – Asheville (where she teaches classical, musical theatre, and jazz vocal techniques and conducts the newly formed high school Vocal Jazz Ensemble - Soul Sassination) and on the faculty of NYS3 of Asheville. In her spare time, she enjoys assisting the choral students at Brevard High School under the direction of Mary Beth Shumate.
She is a member of the National Association of Teacher's of Singing, The Jazz Education Network, Actors' Equity Association, The Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs, Sigma Alpha Iota, Pi Kappa Llambda, and Alpha Psi Omega.