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Ingrid Graudins Brings Music From Wilmette To The World

Wilmette Wonder Woman Ingrid Graudins Has Toured The World

Wilmette Wonder Woman Ingrid Graudins Has Toured The World

Ingrid Graudins has taken her music from Wilmette to the world and Saturday she performs at the legendary Old Town School Of Folk Music with Anna Fermin. (Late add: "Ingrid & The Unicorns" will perform at the legendary Fitzgerald's in Berwyn Friday night.)

Ingrid recalls the Wilmette years as her formative years as far back as she can remember: "I spent most of my time playing in the grass, gardening with my grandparents and rescuing wildlife when I wasn’t attending Clara Bell Baker Demonstration School." She adds: "I studied classical piano starting at age 5 and continued for 16 years."

Ingrid spent her teen years finding herself: "I went to New Trier West High School from 1976-1980. While there I was in all four Student-Produced Potpourri productions and was the Co-Music Director for two of them. I was a chorus member in “Once Upon a Mattress” and “Anything Goes”, and went on to be Mrs. MacAfee (the Mom) in “Bye-Bye Birdie”. I finally got a lead role my Senior year as “Babe” in “The Pajama Game” and every costume I wore had polka-dots on it… I was in heaven, really."

Ingrid had started in the theater department, but not as a performer, instead she was a volunteer on the make-up crew for the NTW production of the play, “Dracula!” Ingrid caught the bug after that and started auditioning.

Ingrid continues: "Started discovering my voice at Interlochen Music Camp when I was in Operetta Workshop — and NTW helped me continue with that, which was where I really switched over from piano to voice."

Her choral teachers were Phil Smith & Ted Klinka and Ingrid says they were instrumental in her becoming more active in singing. She also says Phil actually got her an audition at the U of I in Champaign-Urbana’s School of Music with the Head of the Vocal Department, James Bailey.

Ingrid then spent time as a Major in Voice (Classical) at U of Illinois (C-U) where she "wondered what the heck I was doing studying as a classical performer when my true love was pop singing – so I quit school in 1983 and took to the rough terrain of being a freelance musician."

Fast forward 12 years and one of the members in the famous "The Story" duo calls Ingrid: "I was discovered by some miracle of fate by Jonatha Brooke in 1995 when she asked me to sing on her first solo record Plumb." Ingrid recorded two more albums with Jonatha – “10 Cent Wings" & “Jonatha Brooke Live” – then returned to Chicago to record her own album "Brave Again” released in 2001.

Touring with Jonatha allowed Ingrid to perform her music around the U.S. and the world in Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Ireland & other UK locations.

The past few years saw Ingrid performing in a quartet at The White House along with musicians Elana Arian, Catie Curtis & John Jennings. (This quartet will release the holiday album "Twas The Night Before The White House" later this year.)

Ingrid also performs solo & duo and has her own band named Ingrid & The Unicorns. She hosts a quarterly series called “Words & Music” in Evanston at SPACE. Ingrid recently played there with local legend Anna Fermin and she just saw a worldwide legend at SPACE. Ingrid says "Todd Rundgren was so incredibly awesome – he brought back great memories and inspired me to keep writing more."

When not performing music, "non-stop Ingrid" says she volunteers at the “Felines & Canines" animal shelter…and she's a vegetarian.

Ingrid adds that she is "currently taking a songwriting class at the Old Town School of Folk Music with Steve Dawson just to light a fire in my creative furnace."

The "Old Town School Of Folk Music" (in Chicago) is also where Ingrid Graudins will perform with Anna Fermin and her band at 7 this Saturday night. (Late add: "Ingrid & The Unicorns" will perform at the legendary Fitzgerald's in Berwyn Friday night.)

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