High energy, heart-rending, show stopping, soulful; a plethora of potent adjectives describe the multi-faceted voice of Wendy Fopeano.
Wendy grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, where her whole family was involved in music and theater. Wendy was singing before she could walk, mainly show tunes taught to her by her mother who is an actress. Her parents introduced her to jazz at age twelve and her father bought her an EBO electric bass, which she played in stage band. She took up acoustic bass in high school and played in the school orchestra and with the Northland Symphony Orchestra at Park College in Parkville, Missouri. Wendy played trumpet during marching band season and also took up classical guitar, which she studied at Park College.
Her love of singing and improvising pushed her towards jazz singing and she began studying with two Kansas City greats; vocalist/pianist Carol Comer and pianist John Elliot. She and her cousin, guitarist Charles Gatschet formed a jazz duo in the early 80’s. She performed at many of KC’s venues and with many of KC’s stellar artists before moving to Estes Park Colorado in 1987.
She formed a duo with a pianist Tom Fulton, in Estes and also landed a steady gig at The Wine Cellar in Fort Collins with pianist Mark Sloniker. In 1993, Wendy met Art Lande at a jam session in Boulder and began studying with him. Her singing took on a whole new life as her musical horizons expanded listening to the amazing music at Art's weekly gig at The West End Tavern in Boulder.
Wendy now lives in Denver and has performed all over Colorado including featured appearances at one of the world’s top one hundred jazz clubs “Dazzle.” She has traveled the globe, including a tour of Holland and a two-month stay in Mumbai, India, where she sang jazz 6 nights a week at one of the world’s most elegant and exclusive hotels, The Oberoi. She has appeared in many of the festivals and concert series throughout the Front Range and has worked with local greats including Art Lande, Ellyn Rucker, Dale Bruning, Eric Gunnison, and Paul Warburton. She has her own jazz show “Saturday Afternoon Jazz” from 3-5pm on jazz 89 KUVO, Denver’s real jazz station. (streaming at kuvo.org)
Wendy’s CD, “When There’s Love” was called, “an uninhibited, in-your-face, impressive, and inspiring vocal triumph,” and received rave reviews and national airplay. She has recorded with jazz giant Kirby Shaw and guitarist Mark Van Ark, with whom she paired for her debut recording “First Takes”. Her new album "Raining on the Roses" was recorded live at Dazzle jazz club on November 30th, 2006. It features some of Denver's finest musicians, including two of her mentors Carol Comer and Art Lande doing standards, originals,and compositions by David Murray, Kenny Barron, Herbie Hancock, Tom Jobim and other great composers. Several tunes feature her lyrics.
Wendy has a strong appreciation for other cultures. She studied Spanish in Mexico, learned about bossa nova and samba through Brazilian friendships and studied Indian classical singing in Bombay. She is the vocalist for Latin jazz group “Senor Gato,” has peformed with the jazz/funk band “Cique”, has a duo with her husband, jazz pianist, Marc Sabatella. She brings elegance and power to her performances