About Wend O'Lynn


Wendy Lynn Markus (Wend O’Lynn) is a skilled and passionate violinist who specializes in Irish and folk music as well as uniquely reimagined versions of modern pop songs. Her performances are entirely instrumental, allowing the rich and vibrant tones of the violin to take center stage. Accompanied by original backing tracks, Wendy showcases the fun and lively spirit of the violin through a variety of traditional and contemporary sounds, infused with energy and joy.

Wendy has been a musician for most of her life, learning piano, drums, and violin at a young age, and professionally as a member of Madison rock band Sunspot since 1996. She has also performed with a wide variety of other acts including: Les Smith and Fresh Horses (Garth Brooks tribute), Penelope’s Thrill Michael Alexander and Big Whiskey, Rip, Tantric, and Tent Show Troubadours.

In 2018, she stumbled upon an Irish music session at a Chicago pub and was immediately captivated by the lively rhythm and skillful musicians.

Over the next months, Wendy dedicated herself to learning as much as she could about Irish and Celtic music. She attended sessions at local pubs and spent hours memorizing traditional tunes on the violin. However, when the pandemic hit in early 2020, the pub sessions came to a halt, and Wendy had to find other ways to continue learning.

She turned to online resources, including the Doolin, Ireland based Online Academy of Irish Music, where she participated in dozens of “tune challenges”, collaborating via the internet with musicians from all over the world (see if you can spot her in any of their videos!). Wendy's dedication paid off, and she made significant progress in her violin skills. She went beyond learning tunes and began composing her own music, exploring different styles within assorted folk music genres.

Following the pandemic, Wendy returned to playing at pub sessions, and also began performing at parties, farmers markets, festivals, and beer gardens around Wisconsin. With her original backing tracks and an electric violin, it was possible to showcase the fun style of music in a format that could adapt to venues of all sizes. The performances were met with great enthusiasm, and with feedback from the audience, she added to her repertoire, including fun twisted arrangements of modern pop songs into the mix.

In 2023, Wendy traveled to Ireland with her fiddle and further honed her skills, playing tunes with local musicians at pub sessions in Ennistymon, Lisdoonvarna, and Dublin. She also finally met some of her OAIM instructors face to face for the first time and, of course, enjoyed much of “the craic” with her talented friends.

Wendy’s enthusiasm for playing the violin and performing this genre of music is contagious, and those who hear her play can feel the energy and joy she brings to her performances.

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