Inspired by the Brazilian inflections of Flora Purim and the flute of Joe Farrell, Wilson is a strong improviser who also writes well-crafted songs.”
—Paul de Barros, Seattle Times
“A jazz flutist who’s performed with Tom Scott and Carmen McRae…a vocalist with the clarity of Diane Schuur, the phrasing of Dinah Washington and the velvety texture of Ella Fitzgerald…a composer whose songs could be mistaken for repertoire standards– Andrienne Wilson’s talent competes with itself.”
—Roberta Cuger, Seattle Sidewalk
Andrienne Wilson was born in Berkeley, California. Her far-reaching musical education started at the age of four as her vaudevillian grandmother taught her how to read music, play piano, and sing the vaudeville act. Andrienne started playing the flute at nine, writing songs at twelve, and taking voice lessons at thirteen. She started singing professionally at eighteen in clubs around San Francisco, Reno and Lake Tahoe, and never looked back.
Ms. Wilson's college education included tours as a vocalist with big bands and the Soundsation '77 jazz choir, adding a performance tour of Europe and the Montreux Jazz Festival to her resume. During her college career, Joe Williams became a mentor, giving her arrangements to augment her repertoire, and he remained an important influence until his recent passing.
A lifetime in music has enabled her to span disciplines from theater, to jazz, to acting, to improvisation, including composing, performing and/or recording with Diane Schuur, George Cables, Mulgrew Miller, Stephen Scott, John Hicks, Bobby Watson, Tommy Campbell, Alex Blake, Victor Jones, Arthur Blythe, Patience Higgins, Stanton Davis Jr., Norman Hedman's TROPIQUE, and Chico Freeman.
In 1992, Andrienne became the musical director of the Seattle-based MOAZZ Modern Jazz Dance Ensemble. The company specialized in unusual combinations of simultaneous music and dance development. The experimental nature of the company led to her growth as an improviser and poet.
In 1997, Ms. Wilson, with the help of the Berman Music Foundation, stepped onto the international scene as a bandleader after years as a sideman, arranger and composer. Her release, She’s Dangerous, on Arabesque Records received critical acclaim, and kept her on the road with some of today’s top artists.
When she is home, Ms. Wilson is active in the Northwest music scene through her extensive teaching and vocal coaching in theater and jazz workshops. Much of her time is spent with young songwriters, preparing the next wave of originality. Andrienne starred in the V-Day 2000, Seattle production of Eve Einsler's work, The Vagina Monologues. The production included musical performances and some additional material of performance pieces written by Ms. Wilson.
Andrienne’s next CD, Angel of Mercy, reunites the wonderful musicians who blazed trails with her on the last release. George Cables, Tommy Campbell and Alex Blake are artistic partners who love each other’s playing, and take off on a fresh outlook from a composer who makes no assumptions. The blend is, quite simply, one of the best bands in jazz today.