Boulder is home to some powerful women, and their voices echo across the Flatirons.
International Women’s Day is coming up on March 8, a day to celebrate the achievement and contributions of women. That got us thinking about Boulder’s female powerhouses, in particular the local women who have made big waves in the music scene.
Here’s a closer look at some of Boulder’s most important and influential female musicians.
Cassie Taylor may be the daughter of blues star Otis Taylor, but she’s earned a reputation in her own right, her father notwithstanding. Cassie Taylor’s been singing and strumming the bass for about a decade, and she serves on the board of The Blues Foundation.
Her career started with a seven-year tour with the Otis Taylor Band and evolved into her own modern, youthful, unique brand of blues. She dropped an album called “Out Of My Mind” in 2013. She wrote and arranged all of the songs.
Cassie Taylor, who grew up in Boulder, also has a background in theater, modeling, fashion and music.
Listen to her here: “I Have a Man”
There must be something in Boulder’s mountain air that brings beautiful blues music to talented female musicians. Blues is also part of the repertoire for long-time local performer, Hazel Miller.
Miller has been filling stages across Colorado with the blues, jazz, gospel, pop and soul for more than two decades. Her background in music dates back even farther.
Miller’s career began in Kentucky, where she opened for big (big) names, like Temptations and James Brown. In Colorado, she has shared the stage with the likes of Big Head Todd and the Monsters, James Taylor, Julian Lennon and Herbie Hancock. Over the years, she has earned a huge reputation for herself and some impressive awards, like being named the Best Independent Blues-R&B Recording in 2002.
She also has a theater background and has performed in “Sisters and Storytellers” and “The Vagina Monologues.”
See her perform:
Feb. 23: 7 p.m., Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Greenwood Village
March 16 and 17: 5 p.m., Stage Bar at Monarch, Black Hawk
May 4: 8 p.m., Wild Game, Longmont
Wendy Woo is everywhere; she always seems to be performing. Or maybe it’s because the Wendy Woo Band’s songs are super catchy and once you hear them, they stream nonstop in your head. The music pulls together pop, rock and a great groove. Woo actually developed an original technique that is called Slaptap. She’s written and recorded more than 200 original songs.
The band itself is six members, with Woo on acoustic and electric guitars. She has performed in mega venues, from the Red Rocks Amphitheater near Boulder to the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, and she has shared the stage with musical stars like Michael Franti, Sheryl Crow, The Fray, Sarah McLachlin and the Counting Crows, just to name a few.
One thing that makes Woo stand out even more is the fact that she founded her own record label, management company, publishing company and booking agency, Woo Music.
The Wendy Woo Band has earned a strong Colorado following. In fact, it was named the Best Local Band in Denver by Channel 7’s A-List. Westword Magazine named Woo Singer/Songwriter of the Year five different times, earning her a spot in the Westword Hall of Fame.
Woo’s Boulder ties run deep. Her parents helped found Naropa University, and she grew up among famous artists, including writer Allen Ginsberg.
See her perform:
March 10: 8 p.m., Wild Game, Longmont
March 16: 7 p.m., Lincoln Center, Longmont
March 28: 7 p.m., Rialto Theater, Loveland
Talent must be genetic. Sally Taylor is another Boulder musician with famous parents. She’s the daughter of Carly Simon and James Taylor.
Sally Taylor was a member of the indie band The Slip, and formed her own record label that produced three albums. She traveled and performed a ton, before she took her talents off the road and began teaching music at the Berklee School of Music.
Beyond music, Sally Taylor is an active philanthropist and artist. Her current mission is called Consenses, where she brings artists together to interpret each other’s artwork. Imagine the game of “Telephone,” but instead of whispering what you hear into someone’s ears, you create your own artwork expressing it in your preferred medium. Check out consenses.org.