Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Landau, Clara ("Lady Wolf")
Landau, Clara ("Lady Wolf"), singer, songwriter, pianist, split-keyboardist; b. New Haven, CT, 1 September 1937. She grew up in the Connecticut-New York area. Her mother (Clara Miller-b. 1913) and father (Walter Pfersich b.1909) divorced in 1960. Clara taught herself piano and began singing and composing songs at age 6 and, a few years later, was given two years of classic piano instruction with Gertrude Lanz Lindsey, vocal coaching with Freda Svirsky, and dance with various instructors. Her mother, who herself had done some singing on the stage, became a backstage mother, placing young Clara in any music situation that could be found. Clara played piano and composed songs avidly for four to six hours a day. Her two loves were, and remain to this day, music and animals.
Clara performed regularly on the stage, radio, and television during her childhood. For a while, she was known as the "girl with the mittens" who played fast jazz pieces on the piano while wearing a pair of yellow knit mittens, a feat that came about unintentionally, as the youngster eagerly sat down one day to play piano and neglected to remove her mittens. At age 19, she joined a jazz vocal and instrumental quartet and performed, largely, in New York. She taught herself to play the stand-up bass and regularly plays bass lines on her keyboard. As an adult, she took on family responsibilities and worked for many years in education and the humanities, working with children and animals. She has lived in East Tennessee since 1986. She earned her Ph.D. in health sciences in 1998.
She picked up the moniker "Lady Wolf" as a result of her expressive voice and three-octave vocal gymnastics, as well as her love of the characteristics of the wolf. She has been encouraged in her music by her daughters, Diana and Shara, and is the recipient of international acclaim for her music and songs.
In 2000, her music and interview were featured by Michael Criddle and his program "Smooth Jazz 'til Dawn", on international radio 5UV Radio Adelaide, South Australia. In early 2003, an hour special of her music was presented by Dirk Stursberg of Radio 98.6 in Berlin, Germany. Clara has also received mail and requests for her music from people in England, France, Greece, Poland, Serbia, and South Africa. She performs at many venues throughout East Tennessee as a solo act and with her band, Clara's Blues and Jazz Band.
The Animals Are Calling (1992); Watch Me Dance; Love Changes Everything; Blonde Stirrings; Lady Wolf-BUFF; Essence...the Lady Wolf (2003)
She is the author of "Ms Clara's Songs For Children, an illustrated book which she self-published.
P. O. Box 30212
Knoxville, TN 37930
Telephone: (865) 659-5383 / (865) 549-5021