Singing with the Russ Wilson Orchestra
Singing with the New York Voices in 2023
Performing with the UNC-A jazz faculty with guest artist Jamey Aebersold on sax.
Singing with the Russ Wilson Orchestra
Wendy is a jazz vocalist, recording artist, songwriter, and arranger who is often praised for her approachable and accessible presence...both onstage and off. She consistently receives accolades for her authentic and honest renditions of jazz standards as well as her ability to transport an audience with her musical storytelling. She is drawn to music that is beautiful, somewhat nostalgic, but also thought-provoking.
A lover of big band since childhood, Wendy is honored to be the featured vocalist with several area big bands including the Asheville Jazz Orchestra, the Ole '74 Big Band, the Russ Wilson Orchestra (specializing in music of the '30s and '40s), and is a frequent guest artist with the Greenville Jazz Collective Big Band.
"My love of jazz and swing began with big band. I used to stay up late, despite my mother's protestations, just so I could hear the Tonight Show Orchestra on Johnny Carson each night. I even wrote a tune about that experience which has been arranged for big band by Dave Wilken. I credit the Tonight Show for pushing me down this path."
As a professional vocalist, Wendy has appeared on stages from NYC to Chicago to Tokyo and has performed with artists such as NEA Jazz Master Jamey Aebersold, legendary jazz guitarist Howard Alden, jazz violinist Christian Howes, Crystal Gale, and has sung backup for alternative hip hop group Deltron 3030. She has appeared at Club Bonafide in NYC, the Jazz Arts Initiative in Charlotte, The Mauldin Blues and Jazz Festival, Mountain Oasis Music Festival, the Spartanburg Jazz Festival, Our World Festival, and the Django Reinhardt Festival in Asheville, NC.
A musical dream came true in the summer of 2022 when she attended a New York Voices concert and got to fill in for Kim Nazarian whose plane had been delayed. "The New York Voices have been invaluable in helping me to grow as a jazz musician, songwriter, and improviser. Having the opportunity to sing with them was something I will never forget..it was so surreal and mind-blowingly wonderful!"
In addition to singing with her own jazz quartet, she has also sung and recorded with the Michael Jefry Stevens Trio, the Steve Watson Trio, and the Richard Shulman Group.
“The singer’s distinctive and sometimes-haunting voice proves to be very effective no matter what the mood of the piece. She gives sensitivity to each selection that she interprets and displays a complete understanding of the lyrics while swinging at every tempo.”
- Scott Yanow, Jazz Journalist and Music Critic (Los Angeles, CA)
(Wendy) "possesses a rich voice and that ineffable quality that allows certain performers to glow from within. She dazzled every time she was onstage." - Nancy Stetson, Naples Daily News - Naples, Florida
Wendy's expertise extends beyond the concert stage. She is also a highly respected teacher of voice and a sought-after clinician. She has been a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing since 1991, serving on both state and regional boards as well as national committees. She is also a member of The Voice Foundation and the Pan-American Vocology Association.
Wendy was classically trained, receiving an M.M. and B.M. in Vocal Performance and after graduate school, worked professionally in theatre, on cruise ships as a headliner and entertainer, and for Tokyo Disney as a singer/dancer before moving into commercial music performance over a decade ago. She brought that real-world experience with her to the teaching studio where she has spent over 30 years teaching science-based, functional vocal techniques.
Her clients have included working commercial artists and recording artists from NC to LA. Her students have also been cast in National Broadway tours and have been accepted into competitive music programs at schools such as Belmont and Penn State. Her focus is helping students find their authentic sound and creating vocal health and hygiene plans to keep hard-working professionals working and singing for many years. She has served on the faculties of Appalachian State University, Western Carolina University, UNC-A, and is a member of the voice faculty at Brevard College.
In addition to degrees from Appalachian State University, she has completed all three levels of the CONTEMPORARY AND COMMERCIAL MUSIC VOICE PEDAGOGY at Shenandoah University, completed Level I of Somatic Voicework (TM) - The LoVetri Method, and received a VOICE STYLES SPECIALIST CERTIFICATE from Berklee.