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New York-based vocalist Andrea Wolper has been described as "a giant singer" (In Tune International) and "a highly original performer" (Contra Costa Times) 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). As accomplished and at home with the Great American Songbook as she is with unusual repertoire and spontaneous improvisation, she is one of the "great jazz singers" in Scott Yanow's book, "The Jazz Singers: The Ultimate Guide."
Andrea appears in clubs, festivals, and concert spaces in the U.S. and internationally. Performance credits include the New York Blue Note, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Mezzrow, JVC New York Jazz Festival, Kitano, 55 Bar, Cornelia Street Café, Zinc Bar, Iridium, Arts for Arts Evolving Series, Edgefest (Ann Arbor, MI), Donne in Musica Festival (Italy), Centro Cultural de Belem (Portugal), South African Broadcasting Center concert hall (South Africa), A-Trane (Berlin), Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz, Jazz on the Plazz (CA), Dizzy's (San Diego), Blue Whale (Los Angeles), and numerous other stages.
photo by Michael Keel
Andrea's repertoire travels from re-imagined standards and pop songs to originals that run the gamut from "new standards" to explorations interweaving text, poetry, improvisation, and composition. "Easily superior to the ever expanding population in the singer/songwriter category" (Cadence), one of her songs is among the top ten most downloaded songs of all time at AllAboutJazz.com.
Andrea’s third CD, "Parallel Lives" (Jazzed Media) received rave reviews, and was included on several Top Jazz CDs and Notable Releases lists for 2011. Co-produced by Todd Barkan, it features her group with guitarist Michael Howell, pianist Kris Davis, bassist Ken Filiano, and drummer Michael T.A. Thompson. Her previous release, "The Small Hours" (VarisOne.Jazz), built around her trio with guitarist Ron Affif and Ken Filiano, was produced by Barkan, and features drummers Victor Lewis and Jamey Haddad, as well as guest artists Lou Marini (flute) and Frank London (trumpet and flugelhorn). Andrea's 1998 self-titled debut CD was praised in music industry journals and has been the subject of radio feature presentations.
In addition to leading her own groups, Andrea was one third of the improvising trio TranceFormation, with Filiano and the late pianist Connie Crothers. The trio's "TranceFormation in Concert" (New Artists) was a best vocal CD selection in the 2012 Downbeat critics' polls.
Andrea also appears with ensembles including Jay Clayton's “Different Voices” and projects with freejazz bassist William Parker. For several years, she's held one of two vocal chairs in Art Lillard's Heavenly Big Band; for that group's 2015 recording, with an all-star vocal line up, she was called “the pick of the vocalists” (musicweb-international).
Andrea curated the "Why Not Experiment?" series at Whynot Jazz Room in New York city for nearly two years (2014-15). She is a past President of International Women in Jazz, and served on the Advisory Board of the Jazz Vocal Coalition. She is a Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, Ucross Foundation, and Newnan Art Rez songwriting fellow.
Andrea offers singing lessons in her private studio, and conducts clinics in jazz vocal performance, and workshops and master classes on performance and improvisation.
Fun Facts: Andrea is 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, she's spent time on the stage, and came to New York from her native California to attend the prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre. She earned a black belt in Shotokan Karate, and has two dust-gathering trophies to tell the tale.