Big band jazz, musical theatre, and 70's funk are just a few of the music styles that have been covered by the versatile Rhonda Withnell for more than fifteen years.
Fresh out of MacEwan, Rhonda joined the popular band, Better Days and began performing a wide variety of music from jazz and rock to country and traditional music. At the same time, she toured with the Alberta Opera Touring Association, presenting over 150 operettas a year in schools throughout Alberta. In 1998, she appeared at the Edmonton Fringe Festival in the group’s production of “Beauty and the Beast”.
Jazz music is Rhonda’s first love, and over the years, you may have heard her singing in venues across Alberta. She has appeared at Edmonton’s renowned Winspear Centre, accompanied by the Tommy Banks Orchestra and Juno award winning saxophonist P. J. Perry. She participates in “Jazzamatazz” Breast Cancer Benefits, helping to raise thousands of dollars for the Canadian Cancer Society, and has been featured many times at two of Canada’s premier jazz clubs – Edmonton’s Yardbird Suite and Calgary’s Beat Niq Jazz and Social club.
While jazz remains close to her heart, Rhonda has always strived to expand her musical horizons and, as lead vocalist and vocal arranger for ten piece funk band, “The Craft”, she found new inspiration in funk and rhythm and blues. After co-writing and recording the band’s CD “Degrees of Freedom”, she performed with Saturday Night Live’s Lenny Pickett, who joined them for their CD release.