Wendy Waller’s unique and creative approach to melody and lyric embodies the vast rich landscape of American Roots Music. She tells her story with her dynamic multi-ranged voice. There is no compromise with Wendy. She is unyielding in her quest to take the listener on a musical journey. Every performance is a new and provocative experience. Born into an artistic family of musicians, painters, and writers, Wendy spent her young years cultivating her multiple abilities, singing, acting and dancing in musical theater.
As a multi-instrumentalist Wendy studied piano, guitar, french horn, trumpet, trombone and flugelhorn. Her primary musical influence was her father who played trumpet and sang. His influences became hers: Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Bix Beiderbecke, Cannonball Adderley, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday. Wendy was also influenced by the popular artists of the 1960's including Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Richie Havens, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Moody Blues, Quick Silver Messenger Service and Joni Mitchell. As a result Wendy's music grooves with an undercurrent of improvisation flavored with bits of New Orleans Jazz, Folk, Psychedelic Rock, Soul and Gospel.
Wendy's formal education includes attending the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts where she arrived as a classically trained coloratura soprano and left a Jazz / Country / Soul- influenced rocker. After her stint in Boston Wendy returned to her native California and completed her degree in Jazz Studies at San Jose State. She also began assembling an impressive group of musical mentors, including Patti Cathcart, Bobby McFerrin, Joe Henderson, David Baker and Wayne Wallace.
Wendy's career flourished. She fronted several successful bands, worked as a freelance singer, and contributed her talents to a number of projects including Chris Isaak's “Speak of the Devil.” Wendy preforms at a wide variety of venues through out the Bay Area including, The Little Fox Theater, The Throckmorton Theater, and Tateuchi Hall at the Finn Center. Recently Wendy performed in Great Britain as one of 10 finalists selected from over ten thousand entries for the Rising Star 2009 competition which was part of British Music Week.
A top-notch vocal Instructor, Wendy has taught and assisted at, U.C. Berkeley, San Jose State University, Foothill Junior College and the Community School of Music and Art in Mountain View, California. She also teaches private voice and jazz lessons to children and adults.
Wendy Waller / Vocals, Guitar
Rick Vandivier / Guitar, Mandolin
Rich Girard / Bass
Deszon X. Claibourne / Drums
Traces of Grace CD
Beauty Queen Cd
Traces of Grace by Wendy Waller
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Traces of Grace by Wendy Waller “Songwriter and vocalist Wendy Waller presents “Traces of Grace” (...Traces of Grace by Wendy Waller
“Songwriter and vocalist Wendy Waller presents “Traces of Grace” (Auggie Dog Records), a disc comprised of both original songs and songs that were penned by a talented group of writers whose music seems to fit Waller’s vocal vision. Pairing folksy vocals with blues-tinged instrumentals, Waller sings her heart out from the very first note to the last and the music featured in this disc allows her to do just that. Traces of Grace is energetic and passionate in some places and cool and earthy in others. Waller sounds as though she loves what she does and that comes through in every song. Her confident smile is audible and that makes the listening easy.
Some of her best performances come through on the disc’s opening numbers, “Get it Right,” and “Trace of Your Heart,” both of which were written by Waller. “Time of the Season” has Waller singing beautifully in the opening phrasing with beautiful musical accompaniment while the Smokey Robinson and the Miracles tune, “I Like it Like That,” is almost unrecognizable after Waller strips it of its soul component and re-infuses it with bits of country and blues.
The music featured on Traces of Grace is as vital to the sound of the disc as are the vocals. Both rely on the other for the songs to be successful and that works to Waller’s benefit. The exceptional musicianship of her supporting cast makes good songs sound better. The two are in sync, providing each with the opportunity to influence and support the direction the disc takes without the unnecessary extras. Where Waller belts, the music bows. Where the music grooves, the vocals glide.
Waller is a singer’s singer and Traces of Grace is a singer’s recording. Every note that she hits and every word that she sings is an offering of Waller’s heart and soul. Take it or leave it.”
Bridget Arwine / Jazz Police
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“Wendy Wallers new recording, Traces Of Grace is a wonderful blend of Jazz, New Orleans style ...“Wendy Wallers new recording,
Traces Of Grace
is a wonderful blend of Jazz, New Orleans style grooves and American roots music.
With a sparkling voice, melodic songs and great musicians,
Wendy Waller has arrived as an artist with a vision for the future.”
Traces of Grace review by Floating Gardens
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Five stars: “Wallers versatility and fascinating stylings make this one of my favorite new albums. I...Five stars: “Wallers versatility and fascinating stylings make this one of my favorite new albums. I especially love her rendition of No More - Billy Holiday, My apologies, but Wendy does it better. Get It Right is supper wake-up music.
Starts My day off right.”
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“Wendy Waller is a jazz stylist with such an extensive range that talent scouts joke about goblets b...“Wendy Waller is a jazz stylist with such an extensive range that talent scouts joke about goblets being in danger when she hits her high notes.”
Ward Winslow, San Jose Mercury News
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“Waller is a wailer; she may well be the best female vocalist to come from the San Jose State Univer...“Waller is a wailer; she may well be the best female vocalist to come from the San Jose State University jazz studies program.”
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“Wendy Waller has a distinctive voice that imbues character into every note she sings. (She) slyly c...“Wendy Waller has a distinctive voice that imbues character into every note she sings. (She) slyly charms listeners with her subtle strength and sassy humor.”
Marc Burkhardt, Palo Alto Weekly
Jazz Pick of the Week Metro San Jose
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“Wendy Waller looks like a 40’s movie star and sings like a sassy songbird who saunters into a crowd...“Wendy Waller looks like a 40’s movie star and sings like a sassy songbird who saunters into a crowded room just to tell it like it is. Twangy blues chords back Waller’s powerful voice, which is as comfortable with easy going songs as it is with belt-it-out numbers.”
Jazz Pick of the Week
Metro San Jose
Get It Right
Trace of Your Heart
Time of The Season
I Like It Like That
(Smokey Robinson and Marv Tarplin)
Iï¿½ve Got To Use My Imagination
(Gerry Goffin and Barry Goldberg)
Be My Baby
(Toots Camarata / Bob Russell)
There are no upcoming dates at this time.