Wendy is a jazz vocalist, vocal educator, and recording artist who 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.
A classically trained vocalist with over 15 years of professional theatre experience as part of her background, she now consistently receives accolades for her energetic and entertaining renditions of swing, bop, post bop, originals, and Great American Songbook standards.
Photos by Scott Treadway and Frank Zipperer
Wendy received a B.M. and an M.M. in vocal performance from Appalachian State University 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 actor 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."
Photo by Frank Zipperer
In 2009, Wendy went on a "theatre sabbatical" to concentrate all her efforts on the study of jazz. It was during this time she first met and began regularly performing with Michael Jefry Stevens. It wasn't long before they decided to team up to record his music on their first CD together. An ideal musical partnership, they are already planning their next project.
Wendy cites her greatest influences to be Jon Hendricks, Horace Silver, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Chet Baker, Dexter Gordon, Rosemary Clooney, and Frank Sinatra.
Wendy is currently on the faculty at University of North Carolina - Asheville where she teaches voice and improvisation for the Jazz/Contemporary Music BFA program and directs the university's jazz vocal ensemble STUDIO 18. She is also on the faculty of Brevard College where she teaches voice and directs the opera program.
She is a proud member of The Jazz Education Network, Actors' Equity Association, The Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs, Sigma Alpha Iota, Pi Kappa Llambda, and Alpha Psi Omega.