b. 16 January 1950, Redwood City, California, USA. Although chiefly known as a singer, Wolper is extremely versatile working in the theatre and also as a freelance writer. Resident in the New York area since 1993, she performs mostly as leader of her own group, which has included Ron Affif (guitar), Lou Grassi (drums), and her husband, Ken Filiano (b. 1952, Patchogue, New York, USA; bass). Wolper has also worked with artists such as drummer Victor Lewis, trumpeter Frank London and band leaders Terry Vinyard and Art Lillard. In addition to singing, she also writes songs (both music and lyrics), and is an accomplished arranger. Among artists for whom Wolper has expressed admiration, many of them jazz singers, are Aretha Franklin, Mark Murphy, Betty Carter, Charles Mingus, Joni Mitchell, Anita O’Day and Nancy King. She has studied with Dominique Eade and Connie Crothers. As an actor, she played in theatres on the west coast and since relocated to New York she has also performed in off-Broadway productions. Wolper has written poetry, books and magazine articles. For some years she has been on the board of directors of International Women In Jazz, becoming vice-president in 2002.
Wolper’s singing voice is engagingly warm and although she favours songs from the past, she brings to this repertoire a contemporary feel for the changes that have taken place in music over the decades. Speaking of her former pupil, Crothers has accurately said, ‘She sings with an intriguing inventiveness and a sensuous, swinging lyricism that causes the hearer to feel what she is singing.’