Laura McFayden, vocalist
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Laura McFayden, jazz and big-band vocalist

Growing up, I had a strong interested in two things: music and sports. But my musical pursuits took a back seat when I was in college. It was sports all the way. I graduated with a degree in physical education, becoming a professional water skier at Walt Disney World, Sea World and Cypress Gardens before touring the country as a professional ice skater. While touring, I was approached with an idea to combine my singing and skating. Soon after, I became the first person in the history of the sport to perform a singing act on ice. It was the perfect blend!

But a chance meeting in Florida with a big band leader in search of a vocalist took my life in a different direction. I auditioned, got the job and knew right away this was my new path. I really began to love and appreciate big band music. I hung up my skates and skis, and big band and jazz became my focus.

Later, while performing in South Carolina, I met and married Wilmington, North Carolina bassist Jim McFayden. Today we manage and perform in the area’s top swing band, The Wilmington Big Band, as well as Stardust, our new group that plays jazz and pop standards. All this has been a journey and it’s been great sharing this genre of music with everyone. They say singing is a gift. But the real gift is all the wonderful people we’ve met along the way!