For the past twenty years with four albums as a leader, several studio projects as a side man, and countless worldwide performances, saxophonist, vocalist and composer Juli Wood has established herself as a solid, swinging, lyrical and entertaining performer on Chicago’s music scene. Juli has played many jazz clubs and festivals nationally and internationally; Chicago Jazz Fest, Hyde Park Jazz Fest, Milwaukee’s Summerfest, Chicago’s main jazz clubs – Jazz Showcase, Green Mill, Andy’s and Katerina’s. Skansen Jazz and Blues (Stockholm , Sweden), Pori Jazz Fest (Finland), Bent J’s club (Aarhus, Denmark), Storyville (Helsinki Finland), Arlandia Jazz Fest (Aaland Islands, Finland) and the ” Made in Chicago ” jazz festival in Poznan Poland to name a few.
Juli is in the tradition of saxophonists who were also great vocalists; Cleanhead Vincent, Eddie Harris, and Louis Jordan. Never has that been more apparent than in “5 4 3 2 1 Juli Wood,” her latest recording and most ambitious project to date.
One of the pleasures of attending the Chicago Jazz Festival over Labor Day weekend each year is being able to hear the bevy of local players who make up the windy city jazz scene. Last year’s treat was Juli Wood, a gutsy tenor and baritone saxophonist who also sings with the earthy gusto of an R&B diva filtered through a hard bop sensibility. Bill Milkowski – JAZZTIMES