Wendy Jones - Vocals
Michael Jefry Stevens - Piano
Zack Page - Bass
Rick Dilling - Drums
Todd Wright - Sax (special guest)
Wendy is a jazz vocalist, vocal educator, and recording artist who has been delivering smart and arresting jazz to the mountains of Western NC and in the process has become one of the most popular artists in the region.
A classically trained vocalist with over 15 years of professional theatre experience as part of her background, she now consistently receives accolades for her energetic and entertaining renditions of swing, bop, post bop, originals, and Great American Songbook standards.
She recently finished her latest recording project with Steinway artist and composer Michael Jefry Stevens. Their new CD entitled PERFECT DREAM was released on June 12 of 2014 on the Artists Recording Collective label and features the compositions of Mr. Stevens. Now available at CD Baby, iTunes,and Amazon mp3,
"Wendy Jones, a very appealing jazz vocalist from Western, North Carolina, will release her latest CD, Perfect Dream, on June 12 of 2014 on the ARTISTS RECORDING COLLECTIVE label. All but one of the songs in the program are originals by her pianist Michael Jefry Stevens. Whether a heartfelt ballad or a saucy bluesy number, Wendy Jones is heard at her best throughout the eleven selections.
Stimulating accompaniment and occasional solos are contributed by Stevens, bassist Zack Page and drummer Rick Dilling, a tight trio that is perfectly attuned to Ms. Jones’ attractive phrasing. The singer’s distinctive and sometimes-haunting voice proves to be very effective no matter what the mood of the piece. She gives sensitivity to each selection that she interprets and displays a complete understanding of the lyrics while swinging at every tempo.
There are many highlights to Perfect Dream. “Safe In My Arms” is dramatic, “Reborn” has the feel of a bossa nova and “Gently Slip Away”, written by Art Unsworth, is a romantic ballad that builds in momentum and intensity as it progresses. “Highway Blues” is not actually a blues but a swinging number that has fine bass and piano solos in addition to the spirited singing. “Only Love” has a contemporary but timeless feel while, on the wistful “Lost Love,” Stevens’ sophisticated piano voicings are worthy of Bill Evans.
During “Losing Streak,” Wendy Jones gives the listener very positive advice on how to get back on the right track. On the ballad “Borderline,” as on the other selections, she displays the ability to hit unusual intervals with ease. She is particularly passionate and appealing on “Perfect Dream,” a love song that has the feeling of a vintage song. The melodic and tender ballad “Shelter Me” and the heartfelt “When I First Met You” conclude the memorable program.
Regularly performing with her quartet, Wendy Jones sings jazz in North Carolina but, on evidence of the music on Perfect Dream, she is destined to be much better known."
Scott Yanow - Jazz Journalist, Music Critic, and Author (Los Angeles, CA)
Wendy received a B.M. and an M.M. in vocal performance from Appalachian State University and then joined the voice faculty there where she taught for 8 years before embarking on a full time, professional singing/acting career. Having sung with Opera Carolina, Appalachian Opera Theatre, and the Brevard Music Center, her favorite opera roles include Adina in L'Elisir d'Amore, Laetitia in The Old Maid and the Thief, and Papagena in Die Zauberflote.
An accomplished Equity actor as well as singer, Wendy has appeared in leading roles on stages of many prominent professional theatres throughout the U.S. including Florida Repertory Theatre, Flat Rock Playhouse, Little Theatre on the Square (IL), Temple Theatre, and Blowing Rock Stage Company. She received glowing reviews for her portrayals of Kate in Kiss Me Kate, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Miss Sandra in All Shook Up and Brenda in Smokey Joe's Cafe...to name just a few.
She was also one of nine singers chosen after extensive auditions in North America, Europe, and Australia, to appear at Tokyo Disney in the Broadway review ENCORE!
From 1991 - 2008 she was a frequent headliner and lead production singer on cruise ships and it was during this time the she wrote Everything is Rosie (a one-woman show celebrating the life of Rosemary Clooney) and Ladies and Gentlemen (a cabaret show celebrating the pioneers of traditional pop music such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee, and Ella Fitzgerald). Each of the shows premiered in south Florida at the Winter Park Playhouse in 2009 and 2010, respectively. When asked if these singers are relevant today, Jones responds, "I believe they're all relevant today, as the ability to interpret a lyric never goes out of style. We are talking about the masters here."
In 2009, Wendy went on a "theatre sabbatical" to concentrate all her efforts on the study of jazz. It was during this time she first met and began regularly performing with Michael Jefry Stevens. It wasn't long before they decided to team up to record his music on their first CD together. An ideal musical partnership, they are already planning their next project.
Wendy cites her greatest influences to be Jon Hendricks, Horace Silver, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Chet Baker, Dexter Gordon, Rosemary Clooney, and Frank Sinatra.