29 April 1965, Houston, Texas, USA. Sandhaus was raised in Malverne and Hewlett, New York, where she studied classical piano. Later, she took a degree in Liberal Arts at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, simultaneously studying piano and voice at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Although she had listened to and sung popular music, it was a chance encounter with a record collection that included Hoagy Carmichael, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Maxine Sullivan, and others, that prompted a change in direction. She returned to New York where she now studied vocal production with vocal coach Marie Traficante. Her first professional solo gig was at Lake Placid, New York, where she sang and played guitar, and which was during her summer vacations from college. From the 80s onwards, Sandhaus became a popular figure on the local music scene, singing commercial jingles and working with the Sonny Costanzo big band.