photo by Michael Keel
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Andrea Wolper has been described as "a giant singer" (In Tune International) with "an inventive, thrilling, appealing musical vision" (Blogcritics) who “brings songs to life, whatever their source, working in a milieu that begins with jazz and reaches out to embrace an expressive area that is uniquely her own" (International Review of Music). Mixing genres, crossing boundaries, as accomplished and at home with the Great American Songbook as she is with spontaneous improvisation, Andrea approaches all her music with an adventurous, open spirit. Her original songs, as well as her unusual arrangements of standards and music from a variety of genres and sources, reveal a dynamic, singular musical sensibility that reaches audiences beyond category.
Andrea's quintet CD, "Parallel Lives" (Jazzed Media) received stellar reviews upon its release in late 2011, and was included in three end-of-year critics' lists; her 2005 release, "The Small Hours" (VarisOne.Jazz), also earned high critical praise. Andrea leads The Andrea Wolper Trio/Qt., appearing in her New York home base and touring nationally and internationally. She's also a member of TranceFormation (with Connie Crothers and Ken Filiano), is a member of The Heavenly Big Band, and has appeared as a guest artist with numerous other jazz and improvising ensembles. She teaches vocal technique, and leads workshops for vocalists and for all musicians on using improvisation as a tool for releasing music with spontaneity and freedom. She is a former president of International Women in Jazz and was on the Advisory Board of the Jazz Vocal Coalition. She is listed as one of "The 521 Great Jazz Singers" in Scott Yanow's "The Jazz Singers: The Ultimate Guide."
"Parallel Lives" (Jazzed Media, 2011) features Andrea's group with guitarist Michael Howell, pianist Kris Davis, bassist Ken Filiano, and drummer Michael T.A. Thompson, and was co-produced by Todd Barkan. The CD received Media) received stellar reviews and was included in several end-of-year critics' lists. "The Small Hours" (VarisOne.Jazz, 2012), built around her then-trio with guitarist Ron Affif and bassist Filiano, was produced by Todd Barkan, and features drummers Victor Lewis and Jamey Haddad, Lou Marini on flute, and Frank London on trumpet and flugelhorn. One of her original songs from that album, Not Sleeping in Your Arms, is the 3rd-most downloaded track of all time at AllAboutJazz.com. Andrea is one third of the improvising trio TranceFormation, with Filiano and renowned pianist Connie Crothers; this leaderless improvising trio's "TranceFormation in Concert" (New Artists, 2012) received a "Best Vocal CD" citation in the collected Downbeat Critics Polls. Andrea's 1998 self-titled debut CD was also praised in music industry journals and has been the subject of radio feature presentations. Andrea has been a featured vocalist in Art Lillard's Heavenly Big Band for ten years, and has appeared as a guest artist with numerous other small and large ensembles.
Andrea loves teaching. She offers private singing lessons in her studio, as well as clinics in essentials/coaching for jazz vocalists and on releasing music with freedom and spontaneity. She is a past President of International Women in Jazz, and served on the Advisory Board of the Jazz Vocal Coalition.
She is also an accomplished writer whose journalism and poetry have appeared in numerous publications. Among her works are two books, "Women's Rights, Human Rights: International Feminist Perspectives" (with Julie S. Peters: Routledge) and "The Actor's City Sourcebook" (Watson-Guptill). In addition, Andrea has spent time on the stage, and first came to New York from her native California to attend the prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre. Andrea earned a black belt in Shotokan Karate. She is a human rights activist, and an advisor to Women Mentor Women.