Wendy Fopeano - Vocalist
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 actress mother. 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 orchestra and with the Northland Symphony Orchestra at Park College. She played trumpet during marching band season and also took up classical guitar, which she studied in 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 Elliott. Wendy 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 began gigging in Estes and also in Fort Collins, where she landed a steady gig at "The Wine Cellar" with Mark Sloniker. In 1993, Wendy met musician Art Lande at a jam session in Boulder and began studying with him. Her singing took on a whole new life and her musical horizons expanded listening to the amazing music at Art's weekly gig at the West End Tavern in Boulder. After graduating from the Boulder School of Massage Therapy, Wendy moved to Fort Collins in 1994 where she started her own business to supplement her singing.
Wendy moved to Denver in 1999 with pianist, Marc Sabatella, to further her music career. She has performed at many of the region’s top venues including featured appearances at one of the world’s top one hundred jazz clubs “Dazzle” and Kansas City’s top club “Jardine’s.” 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 greats such as Art Lande, Ellyn Rucker, Jerry Hahn, Dale Bruning, Eric Gunnison, and Jeff Jenkins. She is the host of “Jazz and More” Saturdays afternoons from 3 to 5pm on jazz89 KUVO, Denver’s straight-ahead jazz station, named "Major Market Station of the Year," for two years in a row. (streaming at kuvo.org)
Wendy’s first CD, “When There’s Love” features piano legend, Art Lande and was called, “an uninhibited, in-your-face, impressive, and inspiring vocal triumph,” It 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 (from Kansas City) and Art Lande, playing standards, originals, and compositions by David Murray, Kenny Barron, Herbie Hancock, Tom Jobim and other great composer/musicians. Several tunes feature her original lyrics.
Wendy enjoys studying music. She 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 techniques and tabla in Bombay. She is the vocalist for Latin jazz group “Senor Gato,” has peformed with the jazz/funk band “Cique”,and with Andy O's "Coyote Poets of the Universe." She has a duo with her husband, jazz pianist, Marc Sabatella and also freelances. She brings elegance and power to her performances