A truly unique and extraordinary vocal artist spanning all musical styles and genres, Arlyn, originally from New York and now based in the Philadelphia area, is well known and widely respected on the east coast. Classically trained vocally, with a theatre background, she sings it all... from blues and jazz to the American popular songbook. For almost 20 years she was the voice of Philadelphia's legendary blues band, The Dukes of Destiny. Arlyn sings a variety of styles with Philadelphia's piano great, Reverend Chris. Her expression, finesse and musical interpretation is evident whether she is crooning an Ella Fitzgerald tune or belting out Aretha Franklin. Arlyn is sought after by and plays with all the top artists in the Philadelphia area. Her expression captures heart and imagination.
Arlyn Wolters is a native New Yorker. She studied Voice and Theatre at State University College at Fredonia, NY. After graduation, she moved to Rochester, NY. She discovered a real drive to sing the blues, after following Buddy Guy all over the area whenever he performed, either as a solo act, or with other greats, such as BB King, Koko Taylor, and Junior Wells. She began her musical career with local blues acts, such as JB and Company, and Chester MacMillan and Three Steps from the Blues, and rock band Mike Gladstone and Mile High. She landed the role of Janis Joplin (a role that fit her like a glove) in the Downstairs Cabaret Production of “Beehive”.
In 1997, Arlyn moved to Manhattan, and lived the New York City lifestyle of waiting tables to support a blossoming artistic career. She began performing with TruBeat Productions, and performed in various shows called “A Tribute to…” The tribute changed from show to show, and paid homage to Motown, Stax/Atlantic Records, Sly and the Family Stone, and more. Arlyn performed with many talents and celebrities, including Dana Fuchs, Rycky Byrd of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Kasim Sultan of Utopia, Christine Oldman from the Saturday Night Live Band, and Tish and Snooky of Manic Panic.
Arlyn relocated to Philadelphia in 2002. Soon after, she auditioned for and became the first female member of The Dukes of Destiny. The Dukes have been together since the mid 1980’s, and through the decades have become know as the longest-lived and longest loved blues band in Philadelphia. Arlyn has recorded two cd's with the Dukes and have played countless gigs, including World Cafe Live, the Mermaid Inn, and many Blues Festivals. Arlyn retired from the Dukes in 2021, after 19 years. Please check out the history of the Dukes, how to purchase a cd, and more at dukesofdestiny.com
In 2007, Arlyn auditioned for a live NBC broadcast called “Clash of the Choirs”, a competition between five small choirs from five different states, conducted by a different celebrity from each state. Arlyn found herself singing in the Philadelphia choir, under Patti LaBelle and her musical director John Stanley. After the show was broadcast, the choir continued performing as Patti LaBelle’s Boom Boom Choir, playing at Caesar’s Palace, the Phillies Season opener (when they one the championship!), and on Ms. Patti’s TV show on TVOne “Livin’ It Up with Patti LaBelle.”
In 2013, Arlyn was asked to audition for a band called Johnny’s Dance Band. It turned out the JDB was a huge band in the 70s around South Street Philadelphia. It incorporated serious rock with vaudeville, theatre, burlesque, and novelty songs. All the band members were multi-instrumentalists and traded off different instruments during the show. They were having a resurrection, and needed “the girl”.
Arlyn auditioned and got in,and enjoyed performing with this unusual act, playing guitar and piano, dancing, dressing up, and singing.
Johnny's Dance Band officially disbanded in June 2014.
In 2014, Arlyn teamed up with Wanamaker Lewis and other local legendary musicians to form ROOTOLOGY, a project that features all forms of American and roots music. There’s banjo, mandolin, fiddle and lap steel, and more. Picking and strumming and singing bluegrass, blues, gospel, swing, and more. They performed at the Philadelphia Folk Festival in 2015 and are a part of the extraordinary lineup of Merlefest 2016 in Wilkesboro, NC.
In afternoons and evenings, Arlyn becomes a solo act (with backing tracks) and performs at many retirement and Senior living homes in the greater Tri-State area. Her program is a lovely and lively musical walk down memory lane for seniors, as she sings old-timey favorites as well as Big Band swing, jazz of the 30’s and 40’s, with some rock and roll thrown in to keep the party going. These one hour programs are always a hit!
Arlyn is well-known in local daycares and preschools as Miss Arlyn Music for Kids. Most mornings she is bringing her music enhancement program to toddlers and preschoolers, She is an independent contractor with Peter Moses’ company The Music Experience for Young Children. She also performs at private birthday parties, to the delight of parents and little partygoers.