Olga Wilhelmine Munding

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Olga Wilhelmine Munding
Olga personal photo on set of Good Morning New Orleans WGNO in 2011 to promo album - just take your time.jpg
Background information
Birth name Olga Wilhelmine Munding
Born (1976-10-18) October 18, 1976 (age 38)
San Francisco, California, United States
Genres Blues, country, pop
Occupation(s) Actress, producer, singer
Years active 1990–present (actress)
1996–present (singer)
Labels 219 Records
Website www.laolga.com

Olga Wilhelmine Munding (born October 18, 1976) is an American New Orleans-based blues musician, producer[1] and actress.[2]

Family life[edit]

Munding is an only child whose parents, Siegfried Munding and Christine Sperling, are from Innsbruck, Austria. Being the first generation in the USA and having arrived in 1969, she comes from a very old family circa 749. Her relatives own and operate a pastry cafe in the Altstadt of Innsbruck that has been an ancestral business handed down the generations for over 200 years. Her great great grandfathers were noted inventors as well as artisans, and held the title of Baron (Munding von Stazen). Artistry and inventiveness is still prevalent in the family tradition. [3]

Her early musical influence was primarily on her mother's side - the Sperling family included classical pianists, violist, violin and a tenor opera singer, and engineers. However she knew none of her former relatives most having passed long before she was born.

Her first instrument was a recorder which was given to her by her grandmother, Olga Lumper Munding (who she am named after) when she was four. Thereafter, she had a piano at age 5 and began lessons, followed by violin lessons at age 7. Music has always been intuitive and natural for Olga, in that she could learn quickly and easily, almost as if she had some sort of memory of it stored away deep in her mind.


Munding was classically trained in music as a child. She went to the Nueva School in Hillsborough, CA. http://www.nuevaschool.org where she received a Yehudi Menuin scholarship in music. She was in public school when her parents divorced and that began a long spiral downwards into "the blues", which finally culminated into hitting rock bottom with her divorce many years from Clarksdale-based Squirrel Nut Zippers musician James "Jimbo" Mathus. She studied drama and musical theater at San Mateo Performing Arts center in San Mateo, CA and Judy Berlin's, Kids on Camera http://www.kids-on-camera.com/ in San Francisco.

In college, she lived in Boulder, CO and hosted several radio shows [4] at KGNU http://kgnu.org and produced a syndicated college show called Joes Blue Plate Special http://www.joesgrille.com/joebps/frameset.html which aired on over 200 college stations and had a sponsorship with Doc Martin's. At the radio station, she hosted six regular local radio shows on KGNU Boulder/Denver CO, as well as ran the Community Calendar. In 2000, she was voted "the most alluring voice on the front range" by Best Of Boulder, Boulder Weekly newspaper.[5]


Munding is a blues vocalist and guitar player known for her sultry voice and Southern sound. Munding first took interest in the blues, when she was in high school.[6] She developed her signature style through an extended tutelage under the pioneering female blues musician Jessie Mae Hemphill.[7] Olga and Jessie recorded together extensively and participated in together in Martin Scorsese’s The Blues.[8]

Munding has released three albums of her own, "Now Is The Time", "Kiss Your Blues Away", and "Blues Babe."[8][9] In 2011, she released her fourth album "Whatever You Want",[10] which was written with Cody Dickinson of the Grammy-nominated North Mississippi Allstars and mixed and produced by Emmy winning producer Winn McElroy.[11][12]

She has played with Chris Isaak, Los Lobos, North Mississippi Allstars and co-engineered the Grammy nominated song, "Monkey to Man" by Elvis Costello.[8][13][14]

She is also the founder and president of the Jessie Mae Hemphill Foundation, which honors the legendary and influential musician who served as her mentor and friend.[15][16][17] The foundation supports, preserves and archives the indigenous music of northern Mississippi and provides assistance for musicians in need from the region who could not survive on meager publishing royalties. This gained prominence in 2008, when Mulding fought publicly with popular musician Cat Power who has used but not credited a Hemphill song on one of her albums.[18] On August 16, 2011, Olga was elected to the Blues Foundation's Board of Directors.[19]

On February 3, 2012, Munding in association with the Jessie Mae Hemphill Foundation organized the “Hill Country Blues Celebration” in Como, Mississippi to celebrate the “Repatriation of Como, Mississippi Recordings, Photographs and Videos from the Alan Lomax Collection” and the loan of the Hill Country Blues Photography Collection from the Jessie Mae Hemphill (JMH) Foundation to the Emily Jones Pointer Library.[20][21] Alan Lomax was an American folklorist and ethnomusicologist who traveled throughout the United States, Europe and the Caribbeans as part of his quest to record previously unrecorded and often overlooked folk music. Lomax visited the Como area during the 1950s and again in the 1970s. His recordings, photographs and film from his time in Como comprise the collection presented to Como's Emily Jones Pointer Library.[21] Lomax's recordings, film and photos are in the process of digitization and wider availability online.[22]

She has a Christmas EP released in 2012 called North Mississippi Christmas.[23]


Olga has appeared in numerous television shows and movies.[1] She acted, and co-produced in the short film, “The Statue” which not only screened in 36 different film festivals, it won the New Orleans Film Festival in 2010.,[24] and producing the Jessie Mae Hemphill & Friends documentary,"Dare You Do It Again".


  • Blues Babe (2003)[25]
  • Kiss Your Blues Away (2004)[26]
  • Now is the Time (2006)[27]
  • Whatever You Want (2011)[10]
  • North Mississippi Christmas (2012)[23]


Year Film Role Notes
2010 Statue Girl Musician Short film
The Somnambulist Nurse[28] Thriller
Red Mary Louise Parker photo double Action/ Comedy/ Crime
2011 Cutoff, LA Alice Short/ Drama
2012 Django Unchained Stand-in / violinist[29] Western
The Courier Doctor Action/ Crime/ Thriller[30]
2013 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Stand-in Action/ Fantasy
2014 Devil's Due Violinist Horror
13 Sins Pianist Horror/ Thriller
Bad Country Waitress Crime/ Drama
Runaway Hearts Drug Buyer 2 [31] Drama
2016 Valencia (post-production) Stunt and photo double for Mary Elizabeth Winstead [32] Thriller
Year Title Role Notes
2010 Treme[33] Mardi Gras Muse 1 episode


Best Original Song 2012 (LOVING YOU IS ALL I KNOW from STATUE) at Treasure Coast International Film Festival.[34]


In 2014, Olga Wilhelmine rode on the Orpheus float with Quentin Tarantino.[35]


  1. ^ a b "Olga Wilhelmine". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  2. ^ "Olga, Now Is the Time". Rambles. 2006-09-30. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  3. ^ "Tirols ältestes Konditorei-Café Munding". Munding.at. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  4. ^ "Singer Olga Munding returns to Mississippi : Memphis Commercial Appeal". Commercialappeal.com. 2011-07-30. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  5. ^ Gross, Josh. "Boulder News, Entertainment, Music, Movies & Classifieds". BoulderWeekly.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  6. ^ "Olga's Bio". Jambase. Retrieved 2011-05-01. 
  7. ^ Olga ArtsNewOrleans Profile
  8. ^ a b c "Artist Biography". Laolga.com. Retrieved 2013-04-06. 
  9. ^ [New Releases] Olga "Now Is The Time" Jackson Free Press October 18, 2006
  10. ^ a b "Whatever You Want Album". Billboard. 2011-06-21. Retrieved 2011-06-23. 
  11. ^ JUNE 2011 SONICBIDS “ARTISTS 2 WATCH” "The record was produced, engineered and mixed by Emmy winning producer Winn McElroy at his studio, Black Wings Studio in Water Valley MS.
  12. ^ Olga's Whatever You Want featuring Cody Dickinson Swampland.com
  13. ^ Episode 303 Artist: Olga Wilhelmine Munding Chicagoacoustic.net Quote: “Los Lobos "adopted" me, and let me hang out and observe how they did things. I often sat on the stage during their shows."
  14. ^ Olga Wilhelmine with Cody Dickinson River Cities Reader 23 JUNE 2010
  15. ^ Jessie Mae Hemphill Profile The State Journal posted July 24, 2006
  16. ^ Blues musician Jessie Mae Hemphill dies Blues News 30/07/2006
  17. ^ Jessie Mae Hemphill, 71, Blues Musician, Dies New York Times. July 25, 2006
  18. ^ Matador Records Skips Important Credit on Cat Power's Jukebox SF Weekly. By Andy Tennille Wednesday, Apr 9 2008
  19. ^ Blues Foundation The Blues Foundation Board of Directors posted August 17, 2011
  20. ^ "Repatriation in Como, Mississippi". American Blues Scene. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  21. ^ a b "Como to celebrate ‘Hill Country Blues’ Feb. 3". The Panolia. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  22. ^ "Folklorist’s Global Jukebox Goes Digital". New York Times. 
  23. ^ a b "Two Sides of the Same Coin". My Spilt Milk. 2013-01-01. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  24. ^ [1][dead link]
  25. ^ "Blues Babe Album". Cd Universe. Retrieved 2011-05-01. 
  26. ^ "Kiss Your Blues Away Album". Cdbaby. 2010-11-17. Retrieved 2011-05-01. 
  27. ^ "Now is the Time Album". Cdbaby. 2010-11-17. Retrieved 2011-05-01. 
  28. ^ "The Somnambulist (2010) : Full Cast & Crew". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  29. ^ "Senator's Wife (Character) from Abraham Lincoln : Vampire Hunter (2012)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  30. ^ "The Courier (2012) : Full Cast & Crew". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  31. ^ "Bad Country (2014) : Full Cast & Crew". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  32. ^ "Valencia (2016) : Full Cast & Crew". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-12-14. 
  33. ^ "Treme (TV Series) : All on a Mardi Gras Day (2010) : Full Cast & CrewTreme Credit". IMDb.com. 2010-06-06. Retrieved 2011-05-01. 
  34. ^ "Services". Tcifilmfest.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  35. ^ "Riding with Quentin Tarantino in Orpheus | L.A. to N.O.LA". Latonola.wordpress.com. 2014-03-04. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 

External links[edit]