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Andrea Wolper

Photo of Andrea Wolper Michael Keel

How would you describe your music?

"Modern jazz Improvised"

What is your role in your band? In the studio? In business or marketing decisions?

"In my main group (Andrea Wolper Trio/Quartet/Quintet), I'm leader and, for some of the music, arranger and/or composer. Objects in Mirror: leader. TranceFormation: co-leader (TF is a leaderless improvising trio with Connie Crothers and Ken Filiano).

In the studio, co-producer. I feel the pressure of being in charge of everything, though.

I make just about all my business and marketing decisions (only in parts of Europe, where I have an agent, do I have some help)."

Describe your gear.

"Sennsheiser E865 Gallien Kruger MV200 ART Tube MP Studio Mic Preamp"

Related Themes: Gear

Do you think being a woman and a musician is different from being a man and a musician? If so, how? Was there a moment that made a difference clear to you?

"The differences aren't about actually being a musician, and have everything to do with culture and perception. My genres (jazz and improvised music) historically have skewed toward macho. Singing tends to be undervalued by many practitioners and listeners in these genres. And, historically, most women in these genres have been singers, and most singers have been women. So sometimes being both -- a woman and a singer -- can leave one feeling somewhat marginalized.

Additionally, I sometimes find it difficult to make demands or express expectations of the members of my groups (most of whom have been male). I believe this is because in life in general it can be difficult for women to balance being direct and assertive with concerns about being perceived as ""shrewish"" or aggressive. At my age I'm still trying to understand how to communicate clearly in a way that's respectful of everyone including myself."

Related Themes: Cashing In

Do you see differences between generations of women musicians?

I think so. For one thing, more and more women instrumentalists are emerging within the newer generations, and I believe the younger men are more accustomed to interacting as equals in musical settings with women. While most singers in my genres historically didn't go to music school (college and post-grad), now many do. I have very mixed feelings about the impact of advanced music education in academic settings, but that's another conversation; one benefit, I believe, is that the women who attend music school probably start out on a more equal footing with the men and, as above, women and men are more used to interacting and thinking of one another as colleagues.

Related Themes: Off The Clock

Did anyone ever give you any valuable advice about making your way in the music industry? What advice would you give to a woman musician just starting out?

"I can't think of any advice I was given.

The advice I'd give is:

Be smart, be strong. Cultivate mentors IF you honestly connect with their music and personality. Try not to worry about what other people think of you. Express your music from the deepest, most honest place you can find. Take advice that's meaningful to you, and leave the rest behind."

Related Themes: Advice

Why did you choose to play the instrument you play?

I've sung my whole life. It's always been part of how I've expressed, entertained, comforted myself, as well as one of the most powerful ways I have to communicate my inner life and connect with other people. It's such a direct, immediate route to and from the full range of human thoughts and feelings.

Related Themes: The First Time