Dianne Reeves

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Dianne Reeves
Dianne Reeves.jpg
Background information
Birth nameDianne Elizabeth Reeves
Born (1956-10-23) October 23, 1956 (age 66)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Years active1976–present

Dianne Elizabeth Reeves (born October 23, 1956) is an American jazz singer.


Dianne Reeves was born in Detroit, Michigan, into a musical family. Her father sang, her mother played trumpet, her uncle is bassist Charles Burrell, and her cousin is George Duke. Her father died when she was two years old, and she was raised in Denver, Colorado, by her mother, Vada Swanson, and maternal family.[1] She was raised Catholic and attended Cure D'Ars Catholic School in Denver for much of her early schooling.[2][3]


In 1971 she started singing and playing piano.[4] She was a member of her high-school band, and while performing at a convention in Chicago was noticed by trumpeter Clark Terry, who invited her to sing with him. "He had these amazing all-star bands, but I had no idea who they all were! The thing I loved about it was the way they interacted with each other – the kind of intimate exchange that I wasn't part of. For a young singer, it was fertile soil."[5] She studied classical voice at the University of Colorado.[6]

Reeves moved to Los Angeles, where she sang and recorded with Stanley Turrentine, Lenny White, and Billy Childs.[7] She recorded with the band Caldera,[8] then founded the band Night Flight with Billy Childs, with whom she would collaborate again in the 1990s. She moved to New York City and from 1983 to 1986 toured with Harry Belafonte.[4]

She signed with Blue Note in 1987 and that year her eponymous album, featuring Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, and Tony Williams, was nominated for a Grammy Award.[7] She went on to win five Grammy Awards.[9]

Music critic Scott Yanow has said of her: "A logical successor to Dinah Washington and Carmen McRae, Reeves is a superior interpreter of lyrics and a skilled scat singer."[10] Her sound has been compared to that of Patti Austin, Vanessa Rubin, Anita Baker, and Regina Bell.[10]

Reeves performed at the closing ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.[7] In 2005, she appeared in the film Good Night, And Good Luck singing 1950s standards[10] (including "How High the Moon", "I've Got My Eyes on You", "Too Close for Comfort", "Straighten Up and Fly Right" and "One for My Baby"). In 2006 the soundtrack won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album.[5]


Reeves in April 2011


Awards and honors[edit]


  1. ^ "Dianne Reeves | Biography". The HistoryMakers. September 24, 2016. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  2. ^ Thomas, Mike (March 22, 2022). "Dianne Reeves lauds the spiritual power of jazz that goes 'beyond the page'". Experience the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Retrieved April 25, 2022.
  3. ^ "Dianne Reeves's Biography". The HistoryMakers. Retrieved April 25, 2022.
  4. ^ a b Frederickson, Scott; Kennedy, Gary (2002). Kernfeld, Barry (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. Vol. 3 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 390. ISBN 1-56159-284-6.
  5. ^ a b Walters, John L. (April 3, 2008). "Interview | Keeping it real". The Guardian. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  6. ^ "In Conversation: Dianne Reeves — Rehearsal Magazine". Re:hearsal Magazine. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c "Dianne Reeves", Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz.
  8. ^ Loudon, Christopher (April 9, 2014). "Dianne Reeves: The JazzTimes Interview". JazzTimes. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  9. ^ "Dianne Reeves", International Jazz Day, April 30.
  10. ^ a b c Scott Yanow (October 23, 1956). "Dianne Reeves". AllMusic. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  11. ^ "Dr. Dianne Reeves, Students Play Blue Note, David Azarian Benefit", AllAboutJazz, May 1, 2003.
  12. ^ "Julliard [sic] to award Dianne Reeves an honorary music doctorate", JazzFM, March 2, 2015.
  13. ^ "5 to Receive Honorary Doctorates | Commencement 2015", The Juilliard Journal, 2015.

External links[edit]