Laura Wolfe
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Laura Wolfe

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Folk Acoustic


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Laura Wolfe's Sound"

Laura's distinctively powerful folk sound has been compared to such luminaries as acoustic maverick Suzanne Vega, the socially concious Meshell Ndegeocello, genre-bending folk of Toshi Reagon, and meditative songflow of Liz Wright. - None

"Review in Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange"

Something Nyro-esque informs and inhabits Wolfe’s very promising, first full length CD: The restless rhythms of the Lower East Side and the various, vibrant voices and muses of New York give her music an urban spontaneity, a refreshing spark from the standard guitar, piano or band based singer/songrwriter format.

With her music bred in the country (she attended Oberlin College) but fed by the city, Wolfe is a secure writer and vocalist, offering a wide expanse of color and flavor as evidenced by the raucous and soulful Naked (with exhilarating background vocals by Sophia Ramos); the edgy Nuclear Love’; and the compelling balladry of Uma, Lucy and the environmental ode And She Sings.

Produced by Grammy winner Steve Addabbo (Shawn Colvin, Suzanne Vega) and with the tight and emphatic her core trio: bassist Keith Golden, drummer Alex Alexander and the versatile and electrified Ann Klein on guitar, Wolfe, who continues to establish herself throughout the Northeast (she is a familiar voice at The Knitting Factory, The Cutting Room, The Bitter End and Boston’s House of Blues) has given us a disc of many rewards. More importantly, it serves as a prologue to finer things. - Mike Jurkovic


"Laura Wolfe's performances send chills up and down your spine! The combination of her bold voice and accomplished guitar playing is something not to be missed. Somehow she joins folk with gospel & mantra with soul all in perfect balance. The notes she hits are truly supernatural."
-Terra Deva, UK Producer

"What no one could ever accuse Wolfe of is cheating her audience of her true feelings, as Wolfe has a knack for emptying her entire heart onto a lyric sheet. Anyone who offers this much of themselves through their music deserves to be heard."
- Woman Rock

"Specially noted [on Voice Box CD] was Laura Wolfe’s warm En-Vogue style acapella."
-SF Weekly

"Laura Wolfe’s aptly titled Siren finds her big, fiery, diva voice front and center."
- Velvetpark Magazine

"The various, vibrant voices and muses of New York give her music an urban spontaneity, a refreshing spark from the standard guitar, piano or band based singer/songwriter format."
- Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange

"The fiery red hair is a dead giveaway for the powerful voice that is Laura... mixing pop melodies and worldbeat grooves is all good."
- Circle Back Music

“Why are most singer-songwriters so mild-mannered?I don’t know the answer, but Laura Wolfe will have you asking the question when she displays more energy than ten Joni Mitchell imitators.”
-Wilson & Alroy’s Record Reviews
- Various

"Laura Wolfe/Siren"

Growing up in New York City's Lower East Side, singer/songwriter Laura Wolfe was surrounded by all kinds of music. Her mother was a classical pianist and conductor, and her father was a member of the Weathermen, a controversial political group well-known during the the late '60s and early '70s. At age seven, Wolfe started playing the piano and violin; by 13, she was learning how to play guitar. As a voice student at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, Wolfe was a standout in the school's gospel choir. Her enchanting solos can be heard on Lavender Light Gospel Choir's Light in the House album. From there, Wolfe headed to Oberlin College where she earned a bachelor's degree in original performance. She went on to perform in the European road production of the Broadway favorite Hair. She has also independently released two albums: a self-titled four-song demo and a live set, The Voice Box. In 2005, Wolfe made her proper debut with Siren. The ten-song set was produced by Steve Addabbo (Dar Williams, Shawn Colvin, Suzanne Vega).

by MacKenzie Wilson
- All Music Guide

"Online Review of Little Pieces"

Why are most singer-songwriters so mild-mannered? I don't know the answer, but Laura Wolfe will have you asking the question as soon as you hear her larger-than-life debut, (Little Pieces) where she displays more energy than ten Joni Mitchell imitators. Wolfe could get by on her huge, thrilling voice (she also sings in the Lavender Light gospel choir), but she also writes thoughtful, exuberant songs with equal parts humor and sadness, and quirky jazz-based chord changes, which she plays on guitar. Many of the songs cover common themes like growing up ("The Wording Of Things") and romance ("Me And Lu Blues"), but it's never pat - she doesn't take the easy way out. The side openers "City Child" and "All I Can Give" are extended pieces that build up mesmerizing momentum; you'll have a hard time getting them out of your head. While most songs are performed without overdubbing (several sound like live recordings), "The Dawn" spotlights a one-woman choral section, with a gorgeous, complex arrangement that reminds me of Prince's best work. When I saw Wolfe live, she was playing with an intelligent, Jaco-inspired fretless bass player who added more depth to the material, and she had an offhand yet intense stage manner - make sure you see her if you can.

David Bertrand Wilson - Wilson & Alroys Record Reviews

"The “Siren” Singer"

By Aileen Torres

Laura Wolfe, a native of the Lower East Side, has always been performing. She grew up in a very musically-oriented, politically progressive household, with a mother who is a professional classical pianist and a father who was a member of the Weathermen, a revolutionary group of communists active from the late ‘60s to the early ‘80s, and former history professor at NYU. Wolfe, who is now in her thirties, participated in demonstrations herself as a teenager and college student, but her ultimate passion is for singing.

“I sang gospel music for six years,” said Wolfe, who was a member of the choir at LaGuardia High School. “I kind of see myself in that tradition of singer-songwriter, but a little bit more funk and soul bits in there than the traditional white singer-songwriter, I should say.” Wolfe grew up listening to music from a variety of genres, from pop, funk and soul to classical music, and these influences are evident in her full-length debut album, Siren, released this June.

The album was produced by Steve Addabbo, who has worked with the artists Suzanne Vega and Shawn Colvin. Wolfe was all praises for Addabbo. “He’s so great. I had worked with another producer, and he just wasn’t capturing my voice. I was introduced to him [Addabbo] through my friend. He came down to one of my shows, and he was like, I’d love to work with you. It was a great experience. I felt so excited and at home in the studio. Really comfortable. It also was another affirmation for me—yes, I’m doing the right thing. This is what I’m supposed to be doing.” Wolfe also worked with Dido’s rhythm section on Siren—Alex Alexander on drums and Keith Golden on bass.

Wolfe describes her debut album as the culmination of a lot of things in her life. She had grown up in New York City, where she had been surrounded by ethnically diverse peers, many of whom were from radical families. Then she went away to attend college at Oberlin, which was definitely a big shift from her childhood urban environment.

Although she had been writing songs as a kid, Wolfe really became interested in songwriting during college. Her moment of epiphany came about after she played a couple of her songs at a local coffeehouse. She didn’t take it seriously at the time—“They were just songs I wrote,” she said. “They were fun”—but for several months after being up on that stage, she had people approaching her to tell her that they had been touched by her songs. “And I think that’s when I realized this is gonna be what I did for my life. I was just, like, wow. You know, it’s like when you’re in that little insular moment of creating something, and then you open it out there, and you realize it’s significant because it actually moves people. It affects people.”

Making a difference, contributing something positive to the world, is the essence of Wolfe’s philosophy on art, and life in general. “I guess, you create for yourself to a certain extent, but I was raised with [the mentality] that what you do in the world should be something that uplifts and educates, or causes people to think,” she said.

During college, Wolfe became interested in performance art. She collaborated with a modern dance company in conjunction with her musical activities, but she held on to a traditional core in her music. “I like a melody,” she said, which is clear on Siren, where there is a thread of the torch singer tradition. “I wouldn’t say I’m traditional,” explained Wolfe, “but I kind of like something you can hold on to, either lyrically, or—something that’s not so intellectual that it loses heart.”

Siren itself is a product of an intense emotional time in Wolfe’s life. She began writing it in college—for instance, the songs “Nuclear Love” and “City Child”—and when she returned to New York, she had to deal, as all young adults do, with the process of deciding “what you’re gonna do with your life, contending with the drama of relationships, and all the other drama that comes up in life. I grew up here, and finding my identity [was tough],” said Wolfe, who was admittedly a wild child as a teenager. She did a lot of partying, and, while she had a lot of fun, she felt that she didn’t know herself at the time. Working on Siren was more than just working on music. It was “also about being centered,” said Wolfe. “I think I’m coming into my own making a CD, and knowing that I can hold on to myself no matter how it’s received, knowing I’m happy with the work.”

Thus far, Wolfe has played mostly in New York. She’s done the performance tour of the East Village club scene, including CB’s, 313 Gallery and Fez, and is now looking to play in other cities and also internationally. The official release party for Siren will take place this fall, when Wolfe will be touring as well. - The Villager


'Om Namah Shivaya' 'Govinda Hare' Chanting in Des Raga released 2008

'Shekhinah' 2007 (single) vocals, David Burger composer, Sasha Spielvogel choreographer and director of Labrynth Dance Theater.

'Siren' full LP released 2005 with radio airplay on over 200 stations on 4 continents

'Laura Wolfe' 2001 Self Titled four song demo

'Light in My Window' 2000 Lavender Light Gospel Choir
Lead Vocal-'This is the Day (Rejoice)'- KHoward S Elie/Music by the Bay Music Inc. Lavlight Records

'The Dawn' (Single on Voice Box Compilation) 1999

'Little Pieces' released 1997 (Live Recording)

You and Me (Single on Out Music Compilation 1997)

1995 Tunes for Tots children’s recording (produced by Downtown Music Productions)



Selected as a finalist for NPR's All Songs Considered in 2005, and supported by radio airplay on over 200 stations and 4 different continents, Laura Wolfe is making a global mark on Independent Music. In 2007 and 2008 she was the recipient of the ASCAP AWARDS PLUS. Her solo recordings span over a decade, and most recently tracks from her 2005 independent release 'Siren', produced with GRAMMY Award winner Steve Addabbo (Shawn Colvin, Toshi Reagon) garnered honorable mentions in The 2006 and 2007 Billboard World Song Contest. Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange called the album "very promising...with an urban spontaneity and refreshing spark."

In 2007 she was commissioned by the Connecticut Ballet to compose music for the world premier of Visages with master drummer Amadou Kienou and choreographer Olivier Tarpanga from Burkina Faso. Laura Wolfe toured Europe with the Broadway road production of Hair and performed for six years with Lavender Light Gospel Choir, appearing at Carnegie Hall and The Tribeca Performing Arts Center, and soloing on their recording Light in the House. Since 2008 she has co-led Chanting and Healing Retreats in Spain leading kirtan (call and response chanting sessions) and writing original melodies in raga. Her latest recording ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ in des raga has been distributed in Spain and the Canary Islands.

A native of New York City's Lower East Side, Laura comes from a family of musicians and lefty activists. She studied violin, piano, and guitar from an early age and began performing and singing at age 5. Her mother, classical pianist and conductor Mimi Stern-Wolfe runs Downtown Music Productions and has been producing East Village Concerts for over 25 years. Laura and her mother are re-releasing their mother-daughter duo 'Tunes for Tots' an album of children's music.

Laura Wolfe is currently researching and compiling music for a one woman show exploring her Lower East side Jewish roots and the influence of Yiddish Theater Music on herself and other Jewish American composers.