Wenonah Brooks is a jazz singer in the tradition of a Sarah Vaughan or Ella Fitzgerald – the kind of singer for whom melody is central. She credits her approach to music to her grandfather, a preacher who had been a singer as young man. The Hopewell, New Jersey native began her singing career as part of a family gospel group the Brooks Ensemble Plus.An Air Force veteran, she worked for RCA and Houghton Mifflin from the 1970s to the 1990. As a jazz singer, she has recorded and toured with a host of luminaries, including Stanley Jordan, Regina Carter, and Wynton Marsalis.  Brooks is also a music educator. She has been an artist in residence in the Hopewell Valley schools as well as an instructor at the Thomas Grice Academy of Music. In her 60s, she went back to school to formally study music with the goal of becoming a music therapist.

Here, Brooks talks about her early life at a ceremony honoring her as a distinguished graduate of Hopewell Valley High School.

Here are solo performances, as well as performances with her sisters.

 

All About Jazz biography

Wenonah Brooks Gigmasters page