Chicago native, Felena Bunn, has been gracing stages since 1993. Singing everything from jazz to folk music, she recognizes there are great songs in every genre of music. Her musical versatility has opened unimaginable doors for her. Touring multiple countries as a band leader and background vocalist on the Umbria Jazz Tour and The International Festival of Choirs and Orchestras in Tuscany (Italy), Usadba Jazz and St. Petersburg Jazz festivals (Russia), Bohemian Jazz Fest (Czechi), Jazz a' Vienne (France), Jazz Jamboree (Poland), North Sea (Netherlands), Brisbane International Jazz Festival and Melbourne International Jazz Festival (Australia), and with artist Garth Brooks and Faith Hill . She's worked as a consultant in numerous studio sessions at Jive Records, Virgin Records, and many other labels and studios. Sung background at various music award shows such as the AMA's, CMA's, Rock and Roll hall of fame, Stella's and others.
In 2002, the trajectory of Felena's life changed with the unexpected diagnosis of kidney failure. Unable to travel because of dialysis, Felena began working full time for the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization as a community organizer, helping over a thousand low income clients secure employment, facilitating youth development programs, and managing a food pantry that fed more than eight hundred families per month. Helping others to create a better life for themselves became her greatest passion.
Felena decided not to allow her medical diagnosis to stop her from performing. While still occasionally performing overseas, she also began building a name for herself as a vocalist and band leader in Chicago. Performing not only with her bend, Blu Ivy Big Band, but also with The Party Makers Orchestra, N-Deep, D'Erania Music, Crosswind Latin Jazz, Carazz Afro-Cuban Jazz Band, The Chicago Spirituals, The J Grant Experience, The Eleven Jazzy Divas and many other local bands and groups. She's been featured in shows such as Music Mondays (Sue Conway), Charles Heath Presents Jazzin' on the Southside, Tuesday Nite Vibe (J Grant), Miller Lite Beer Garden: Live on the Lake, When Divas Meet (Joan Calloso), Feeling Good: A M.A.D.D. Rhythms Tribute to Nina Simone to name a few.
As she became more in tune with her community, Felena realized that music and music education was not accessible to everyone. It became her mission to use her experience as an international vocalist and band leader to provide high quality musical experiences, vocal training and workshops for those who couldn't afford Chicago's downtown or north side prices. Felena created the "Professionalism in the Music Business Workshop" design for both young and more seasoned musicians to learn about financial and retirement planning, health care options, tips of the trade and Q & A with successful colleagues. She gives free to very affordable vocal training for countless individuals, groups and churches of various denominations. She is the voice of the "We Walk for Her" march, calling cadence for the hundreds of people who come out to honor missing women and girls, who have been forgotten in the city of Chicago. She also books musical talent for fundraising endeavors of grassroots organizations in Chicago, IL and Detroit, MI.
Felena's voice not only provides entertainment, it provides love, celebration, it's healing, it’s joy, it’s sexy, it’s groovy, it’s hot, it’s funky... It’s every emotion you can think of delivered in a beautiful way. Her whistling is an experience that you will never forget. Respected by fellow musicians, it's well known that she is professional, knowledgeable, encouraging, humble and creates space for others to explore and display their talents. She's a challenge musically with her electric and diverse approach to music, keeping those she works with on their musical toes. You will be touched, moved and changed by the sound of her voice.