Andréa Wood is living proof that music was meant to evolve. As a vocalist, she has been praised by JazzTimes Magazine for her “astonishing vocal range effective in conveying the emotions of a song.” As a composer and arranger, she mines even deeper ore with a signature sound that is at once cerebral and accessible. On all fronts, she draws on jazz, soul, and Brazilian influences, balancing innovative songwriting with respect for the standards through which she learned her craft.
Born and raised in the heart of Washington, D.C., where she attended the prestigious Duke Ellington School of Arts, she grew up in a musical household. Learning piano from her mother starting at age 5, she developed a love for soul and R&B singers. Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, and a host of classical composers were among her early favorites. It was while studying classical voice in high school, in fact, that an astute jazz teacher took her under his wing, thus opening a whole new world. Classical training, she recalls, required her to be in character, but in jazz she could put her own spin on things. She welcomed the greats like Miles Davis and Bill Evans, but also gravitated toward immortal balladeers Shirley Horn, Sarah Vaughan, and, later on, Betty Carter. Spending too much time, however, cataloging influences may leave you with little to go on: Andréa is her own singer, through and through.