Wendy Lands Bio - 2020
Singer/Songwriter, Wendy Lands, breathes smoky new air into the genre of jazz with original songs that are – according to writer/director Shari Hollett, “Passionate and soulful – and make you want two things – a good cry and great sex!”. And Jazz FM’s Heather Bambrick exclaims, “Wendy Lands’ songs are worthy of inclusion in The Great Canadian Songbook”.
Inspired by a diverse list of legends - from Cohen to Sondheim to Waits to Bacharach – Lands and life-long collaborator/husband – Jim Gillard, create songs that tell stories, with deeply thought-through lyrics and haunting, hooky melodies. Lands says, “I don’t just want to sing songs, I want to create songs I can climb inside and live in, as an actor lives in a role.” The poetry of her lyrics is unique to her own speak, the soaring melodies, unique to her own cadence, and the combo of both, is uniquely Wendy Lands.
“Hers is a style that smoothly insinuates itself and before you know it, you’ve bought a ticket on an emotional trip, destination known only to Lands.”
~THE TORONTO STAR
On stage, joined by the finest musicians Canada has to offer, Ms. Lands combines a cool, sexy, jazziness with an intimate, theatricality – and she never fails to make her audience feel as though they’re not just sitting back and watching but participating in something very special.
Lands began her career at a cattle-call for the original cast of Les Miserables that lead to call-back after call-back, and finally to a role in the original Canadian company of Les Miserables. After that life-changing experience, Lands found success in the pop world with her first solo album, Angels & Ordinary Men (EMI) garnering a Juno nomination & 2 Canadian Radio Award nominations and a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell in L.A – where she collaborated with Melissa Manchester and Paul Williams, among others. While living in L.A. Lands made the transition into jazz-kissed territory recording the companion release to the Oscar-winning film The Pianist, called, Wendy Lands Sings The Music Of the Pianist (Hippo/Universal Music Group). Lands next two albums Mumble (Fontana North) and Altitude (Tambre) also found acclaim and recognition in the jazz world.
Wendy Lands’ music can be heard on JAZZ.FM91, CBC radio, and jazz podcasts and radio stations worldwide. She has played jazz festivals, jazz venues and theatres in Canada, the USA, and Europe – and in 2017, she headlined the prestigious Ladies Jazz Festival in Gdynia, Poland, a country that embraced her by sending her to the top of the charts, where she happily hovered just beneath Norah Jones and Lady Gaga for weeks. In June of 2019, Lands had a ‘bucket list moment’, when she shared the stage and sang with the legendary Manhattan Transfer at Toronto’s Winter Garden Theatre.
What the World Needs Now (A Musical Memoir Of Love & Hope Through The Swingin’ 60s Into The Sweet & Soulful 70s) is Lands’ newest offering, and was nominated for the Cayle Chernin Award for theatre production for its premiere performance in Soulpepper Theatre’s Cabaret Series. Lands has employed all her talents to write, direct, and perform this intimate, funny, flirty, poignant, nostalgic time trip, chock full of vintage hits. In it, she weaves a personal narrative in between well-loved songs from the swingin’60s into the sweet and soulful ‘70s, to intimately tell the story of her earliest memories of the era.
Lands parallel career to her recording-artist/performance life has been a very successful career as a voiceover artist - voicing everything from Barbie, to Bell, to Ford and more. Check out the VOICEOVER tab above for all of Wendy's VO info.
Born and raised in Montreal, she now lives in Toronto with her husband Jim - who is her favourite duet partner, drummer and musical director, and their daughter Chloe, who is also a budding creator.
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