Jazz singer, songwriter, and improviser Andrea Wolper has been noted for her very individual sound and style, solid understanding of jazz traditions, and spirited sense of adventure. She has been described both as "a highly original performer" (Contra Costa Times) and "a singer with an uncanny emotional touch for the past 50 years of jazz" (Tuscon Citizen). Andrea is as accomplished and at home with the Great American Songbook as she is with spontaneous improvisation. A creative songwriter, lyricist, and arranger, Andrea's original compositions and unusual arrangements of standard material, as well as of poetry and music from a variety of genres, reveal a dynamic, singular musical sensibility.
Andrea appears in clubs, festivals and concert halls in the U.S. and internationally. New York performance credits include Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola (Jazz at Lincoln Center), JVC New York Jazz Festival, Kitano, Sweet Rhythm, 55 Bar, Cornelia Street Café, Makor, The Stone, Iridium, and more; she appeared by special invitation in "A Singers Celebration" at the Blue Note in New York, joining an impressive roster of jazz vocalists. Appearances across the U.S. and abroad include yearly tours in Germany, Donne in Musica Festival (Italy), Centro Cultural de Belem (Portugal), Jazz at the Cape (South Africa), Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz, Jazz on the Plazz (CA), Dizzy's (San Diego), and performances on numerous other concert and festival stages.
"Parallel Lives," Andrea's newest recording (2011 release) features her working group with guitarist Michael Howell, pianist Kris Davis, bassist Ken Filiano, and drummer Michael T.A. Thompson. Her 2005 CD, "The Small Hours" (VarisOne.Jazz), built around her trio with guitarist Ron Affif and bassist Ken Filiano, was produced by Todd Barkan, and features drummers Victor Lewis and Jamey Haddad, and guest artists Lou Marini (flute) and Frank London (trumpet and flugelhorn). "The Small Hours" continues to receive high critical praise, and 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's 1998 self-titled debut CD was also praised in music industry journals and has been the subject of radio feature presentations.
Andrea is one third of the improvising trio TranceFormation, with Filiano and renowned pianist Connie Crothers; the trio's live concert CD will be released in 2011. Objects in Mirror, with Adam Caine (guitar), Fung Chern Hwei (violin), and Ken Yamazaki (percussion), is a quartet blending improvisation, compositions, and text. 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.
All these experiences inform Andrea's organic approach to music. Her way with words allows her to write songs that run the gamut from witty to thought-provoking to moving, and her gift for inhabiting the life and spirit of a character infuses both her approach to song interpretation and her perceptive understanding of the intimate relationship between words and music.