The Insider: Women in Jazz series features Tulane staff member

March 28, 2014 10:00 AM

Alicia Duplessis Jasmin

Yolanda Windsay has worked in the Tulane University accounting department since 1997, but the way others see her around campus is about to change. On Thursday (April 3), Windsay will make her on-campus singing debut as part of the university’s Women in Jazz series.

Yolanda Windsay

Yolanda Windsay, an assistant purchasing card administrator, got her start singing in church as a child. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

Although this will mark Windsay’s first time singing on the uptown campus, she has been performing professionally since 1979.

“When my coworkers found out that I was a performer they were excited and really supportive,” says Windsay. “I’ve performed in Italy, Japan, Switzerland and a few other places abroad, but I still get butterflies when I sing because I want to do my best for the audience.”

Together with her mother, jazz vocalist Topsy Chapman, and sister, Jolynda Phillips, she is one-third of the vocal trio Solid Harmony. Her mother performed during the 2013 Tulane Commencement ceremony in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and will appear again at May's ceremony.

Windsay also performs Monday nights at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans with Gerald French and the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band.

Known locally for her sultry, soulful sound, Windsay attributes her style to the influence of her musical mother, her maternal grandfather and an early exposure to jazz.

Her bachelor’s degree in jazz studies from Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., earned under the tutelage of world-renowned jazz educator and musician Alvin Batiste, also played a major role.

The Women in Jazz concert performances are free and open to the public. Thursday’s concert will be held at Der Rathskeller on the basement level of the Lavin-Bernick Center from 7–9 p.m. Singer and guitarist Kelly Love Jones also will perform.

Women in Jazz, curated by Jesse McBride, is part of the Lagniappe Program's ongoing Jazz at the Rat series. It is co-sponsored by the Newcomb-Tulane College Office of Cocurricular Programs and by the Newcomb College Institute.

For more information call 504-865-5728.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000