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The Warsaw Voice » Stage & Screen » October 27, 2011
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Christmas With Dianne Reeves
October 27, 2011   
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Dianne Reeves, one of the world’s greatest female jazz vocalists, will appear at a gala concert organized by the Era Jazzu concert agency this Christmas in Warsaw. It will be her only concert in Poland and will feature songs from her latest album, entitled Christmas Time Is Here. Reeves received a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance for three consecutive recordings, a Grammy first in any vocal category. Good Night, and Good Luck, the soundtrack recording for a movie of the same title directed by George Clooney, won Reeves her fourth Best Jazz Vocal Grammy in 2006. Along with Cassandra Wilson and Diana Krall, Reeves ranks among the top contemporary jazz vocalists and is one of the hottest names at concert venues around the world.

Reeves grew up in a family with strong musical traditions. Her father is a singer and her mother a trumpeter in a symphony orchestra. Reeves’ vocal talents were discovered in 1972 by legendary trumpeter Clark Terry, who invited her into his band and took her on tour. Reeves spent several seasons with the band, during which time she gained experience performing alongside the likes of Al Grey, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis and Tommy Flanagan.

In 1979-1981 she worked with Night Flight, the band of pianist Billy Childs, and then spent a season touring with the band of the famous Sergio Mendes (1981). Her next collaboration was with Harry Belafonte in 1983-86. Reeves went on to become a frequent guest at pop and Latino music concerts and it was not until the late 1980s that she revisited jazz and landed a lucrative contract with the prestigious Blue Note Records label. The self-penned Dianne Reeves album she recorded for the label opened her way to international fame and prompted her to concentrate on jazz from then on.

The past decade has been the most successful for Reeves so far. She keeps releasing albums that win plaudits from critics and audiences alike and has worked with such prominent jazz figures as McCoy Tyner, Benny Carter, Lionel Hampton, Joe Williams, Phil Woods and Roy Hargrove. The Bridges album she recorded with Kenny Garrett, Billy Childs and George Duke was a hit and earned Reeves a Grammy nomination. She also worked with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and was a featured soloist with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, a big band headed by Wynton Marsalis. She is also an educator, conducting vocal workshops at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Hollywood Bowl and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Testimonies to her standing include the prestigious Ella Fitzgerald Award and a performance at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Salt Lake City.

Joining the likes of Aretha Franklin and Norah Jones, Reeves started working with legendary producer Arif Mardin, who produced her magnificent album entitled A Little Moonlight, a charming collection of jazz standards which Reeves performed with a jazz trio. The album won a Grammy Award in 2003. Later releases and concerts, including one at the United Nations general assembly, won Reeves millions of fans around the world. Her Grammy-winning Good Night, and Good Luck featured tasteful and understated versions of jazz standards such as “Too Close for Comfort,” “Straighten Up and Fly Right,” “One for My Baby,” and “How High the Moon,” along with a song called “Who’s Minding the Store,” which was written especially for the movie.

Her first solo album in several years, When You Know, was released in 2008. Since then, she has been touring the world. In Warsaw, Reeves will bring her grace and charisma to jazz renditions of such Christmas favorites as “Little Drummer Boy,” “Christmas Waltz,” “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” and “Let It Snow.”
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