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Legal bulldog on the flute

“I love all the jazz cats in town — but women have a different energy."

Deborah Wolfe (2nd from left), among Women of Note
Deborah Wolfe (2nd from left), among Women of Note

“I’ve always been a singer, ever since I was a little kid,” says Deborah Wolfe. “I used to dream of singing in front of a big band. My grandfather was a professional musician from Croatia and my father was an amateur musician as well. I picked up the flute when I was nine years old and I’ve been playing that my whole life.”

Like many musicians, Wolfe has a day-job — she’s a trial attorney. “I’m a specialist in legal malpractice law [for more than 25 years], meaning I sue lawyers who have made mistakes or betrayed their clients’ trust. There are a few bad apples that make the rest of us look bad — I’m kind of the pathologist of the profession. The good lawyers appreciate it because everyone knows who the bad lawyers are and I tend to go after them.”

Respect from other attorneys has earned Wolfe numerous commendations, culminating with the Daniel Broderick Award last September. “It’s kind of like the Oscars of the legal profession and I was very surprised to get it, because I’m known as a ‘bulldog’ in the field.”

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Wolfe’s reentry into the music world came about from meeting two local performers. “I became friends with [vocalist] Whitney Shay and she was doing what I’d dreamed of but never had the nerve to do. Then I heard that the Downbeat Big Band was looking for vocalists, and I decided to audition. That’s how I got started. From then on, when I’d go hear Whitney sing she’d invite me onstage. Later on I met [trumpeter] Gilbert Castellanos, and he was so encouraging; he invited me to his jam session even though I had no connection with jazz.”

The singer decided to form an all-female ensemble called Women of Note after some encouragement from local concert impresario and flutist Holly Hofmann.

“It gives me the opportunity to sing what I want, and I want to do more performing. I had been taking lessons from [pianist] Kathy Shoemaker, and I knew [bassist] Jodie Hill from Whitney’s band, so we were looking for a drummer and found Tina Perez, who has been playing in rock bands for the last 40 years.”

“I love all the jazz cats in town — but women have a different energy — this is going to be fun.”

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Deborah Wolfe (2nd from left), among Women of Note
Deborah Wolfe (2nd from left), among Women of Note

“I’ve always been a singer, ever since I was a little kid,” says Deborah Wolfe. “I used to dream of singing in front of a big band. My grandfather was a professional musician from Croatia and my father was an amateur musician as well. I picked up the flute when I was nine years old and I’ve been playing that my whole life.”

Like many musicians, Wolfe has a day-job — she’s a trial attorney. “I’m a specialist in legal malpractice law [for more than 25 years], meaning I sue lawyers who have made mistakes or betrayed their clients’ trust. There are a few bad apples that make the rest of us look bad — I’m kind of the pathologist of the profession. The good lawyers appreciate it because everyone knows who the bad lawyers are and I tend to go after them.”

Respect from other attorneys has earned Wolfe numerous commendations, culminating with the Daniel Broderick Award last September. “It’s kind of like the Oscars of the legal profession and I was very surprised to get it, because I’m known as a ‘bulldog’ in the field.”

Sponsored
Sponsored

Wolfe’s reentry into the music world came about from meeting two local performers. “I became friends with [vocalist] Whitney Shay and she was doing what I’d dreamed of but never had the nerve to do. Then I heard that the Downbeat Big Band was looking for vocalists, and I decided to audition. That’s how I got started. From then on, when I’d go hear Whitney sing she’d invite me onstage. Later on I met [trumpeter] Gilbert Castellanos, and he was so encouraging; he invited me to his jam session even though I had no connection with jazz.”

The singer decided to form an all-female ensemble called Women of Note after some encouragement from local concert impresario and flutist Holly Hofmann.

“It gives me the opportunity to sing what I want, and I want to do more performing. I had been taking lessons from [pianist] Kathy Shoemaker, and I knew [bassist] Jodie Hill from Whitney’s band, so we were looking for a drummer and found Tina Perez, who has been playing in rock bands for the last 40 years.”

“I love all the jazz cats in town — but women have a different energy — this is going to be fun.”

Sponsored
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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