"Soriana," born Stephanie Ann Wood, in Portland, Oregon, wanted a name that described her spirit. In
1981, during a period when she was writing inspirational songs, she found the two native American names:
"Soriah" which means "the warbling songbird" and "Oriana" which means "the golden dawn", and combined
them to be "Soriana" - "The warbling songbird of the golden dawn."
As Stephanie Wood, she performed for fifteen years in dinner houses and clubs, mostly in the Portland,
Oregon area, but traveled as far as Alaska and Los Angeles. She performed with Top Forty bands for
several years, then began performing as a solo artist in dinner houses and clubs. She plays acoustic
guitar, 12-string guitar, harmonica, but most of all, she sings.
In 1995, Stephanie began to perform as "Soriana" on the television show "Spaceville" in Eugene, Oregon.
From 1995 through 1998, she was Executive Producer of Spaceville, a showcase for undiscovered talent
which was created by the late Dee Wolf, a new age entrepreneur and television director from Memphis,
Tennessee. The show aired on Public Television, Fox and Warner Brothers in Eugene, Oregon. Then, in
1998, Dee and "Soriana" took "Spaceville" to Memphis, Tennessee, where it aired on WMC-TV, NBC -
Channel 5. Tragically, in 2000, while they were preparing to begin shooting a new season of "Spaceville,"
Dee Wolf had a heart attack, and died.
Today, "Soriana" continues on her musical journey in Memphis, Tennessee. She has had the privilege of
singing with local legends Fred Ford (saxophone), Honeymoon, Garner (keyboards). In 1999 and 2000
she helped run a night club in the Old Daisy Theater, an historical building on Beale Street, which was the
original movie theater there. Managed by Mark Cox and George Miller, the club offered blues bands on
the weekends. She often sang with the bands there, and performed around Memphis with other local
singers and musicians. She became friends with local legendary jazz guitarist, Calvin Newborn
(brother of Phineas Newborn, Jr., the genius jazz pianist), with whom she sang from 2000 through 2003.
Together they performed at The Rum Boogie Cafe, on Beale Street, as well as Huey's Downtown, on many
In the summer of 2003, after meeting James Austin, lead singer with The Platters, at the Cafe Soul on
South Main, in Memphis, she performed as a guest artist with James and many of the local Memphis jazz
musicians, such as pianists Chris Ward, Dom Fosco, Alvie Givan, Audie Smith, and others. She was the
singer with Melvin Rodgers' Big Band in 2005, and sang on several occasions with the Memphis Jazz
Orchestra at Alfred's on Beale Street.
In September 2003, "Soriana" performed at the annual Center For Southern Folklore Music Heritage
Festival. It was there that she met Johnny Bellar, well known resophonic guitar player (dobro), and
bluegrass guitar and bass player. They collaborated on some music and performed in November 2003 at
the Cafe Francisco in the Pinch District of downtown Memphis.
In May of 2004, "Soriana" performed at the Precious Cargo, with Derek Gasque, a multi-talented pianist,
guitarist, percussionist, and extraordinary jazz vocalist and gospel singer, and Stan Johnson, saxophonist.
On several occasions, they were joined by renowned trumpet player, Mickey Gregory (formerly of Isaac
Hayes' entourage, now a regular member of Elmo and The Shades).
"Soriana" had the opportunity to sing soprano in the National Civil Rights Museum Choir in 2004, when
the Freedom Awards were presented to Bono and Congressman Lewis. Among the featured soloists was
Vaneese Thomas, youngest daughter of Rufus Thomas. The legendary Carla Thomas was also in the
Then, again in 2005, "Soriana" participated in the choir for the NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM'S 2005
FREEDOM AWARD: "In every season and in every generation, there are leaders — people who are not
afraid to stand up and speak out for justice, for the less fortunate and disenfranchised. These four great
humanitarians and freedom fighters have shown the world that we each can make a difference." — Dr.
Benjamin Hooks, Chairman of the Board, National Civil Rights Museum. The recipients were Paul
Rusesabagina of Rwanda, the humanitarian crusader made famous by actor Don Cheadle in the film Hotel
Rwanda, as the International Freedom Award recipient; the Museum's first Lifetime Achievement Award
was presented to Ruby Dee and her late husband Ossie Davis; and the National Freedom Award was
presented to Oprah Winfrey. Will Graves was the featured soloist.
The Mistress of Ceremonies was Angela Bassett. (Ruby Dee)
Today, you might find "Soriana" singing at Wendell's World Beat Grill on South Main Street, or at the Cafe
Francisco on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Once in awhile she stops in and sings a few songs with
other Memphis Divas: Donna Lee (jazz at Garland's Restaurant), J. P. Netters (country & pop at
Equestria), T. J. Graham (jazz at Cafe Soul), Stormie Williams (jazz, R&B), Cequita (jazz and R&B at
Precious Cargo), Sandra Bray (jazz at Cafe Soul), Diane Price (blues and jazz at Huey's).
Always with a song in her heart, "Soriana" brings music to life with her smooth vocals (jazz, pop, country,
and folk). She has written songs in all those styles as well as well as inspirational music. Her first
collection of inspirational songs, "Soaring Spirit" is currently on sale (see below). Visit the SoaringSpirit
page on this website for a sample song and more information. "Soriana" performs at local church services
in Memphis, all religions and denominations, as well as weddings and funerals. She is currently available
for private parties, as well. For Bookings, call: Nightowl Enterprises: (901) 604-5509, or email
firstname.lastname@example.org. There are several new album projects in progress. Stay tuned for news of
This page has pictures taken in Portland, Oregon and other West Coast Locations. Pictures from
engagements in Memphis, Tennessee will appear on other pages on this site.
|at Sound Smith Studios,
Lake Oswego, Oregon
|at The Haystack House in
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Mount Hood, Oregon
|CDs are currently available:
* Soriana Sings Standards *
* Soaring Spirit *
If you would like to purchase a cd
please send an email to
|Kirkland & Company -
|Number of Visitors to this site:
"The warbling songbird of the golden dawn"
Soriana is a singer, songwriter, musician, video/TV producer
Moon Glow was recorded by
Johnny Bellar on his album
"Party of One, Part II". It is an
instrumental only version.
Johnny is a premiere
resophonic guitar player in
(click link below to see)
Johnny Bellar's Website
Double Click on an image to enlarge it.
Bono of U-2
Click this link to go to my
You Tube Channel
(Soriana9) Soriana Songs
to see videos of live ----->
performances over the
years and now.