Ranee Lee

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Ranee Lee
Ranee Lee portrait.JPG
Background information
Born (1942-10-26) 26 October 1942 (age 76)
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States
GenresVocal jazz, jazz blues, torch songs
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, jazz drummer, tenor saxophonist
LabelsJustin Time
WebsiteRanee Lee, Justin Time Records

Ranee Lee, CM (born 26 October 1942 in Brooklyn, New York City) is a Canadian jazz vocalist and musician who resides in Montreal, Quebec. She is also an actor, author, educator and television host.


Born in Brooklyn, Lee moved to Montreal at the age of 28 in 1970.[1] She toured North America in the 1970s as a jazz drummer and tenor saxophonist. She subsequently landed a starring role playing Billie Holiday in Lady Day, and won a Dora Mavor Moore Award for her performance. She subsequently began recording as a vocalist, releasing her first album Live At The Bijou in 1984.

She wrote and starred in Dark Divas, The Musical, a tribute to the lives and careers of seven of the most popular female jazz singers of the 20th century: Josephine Baker, Billie Holiday, Pearl Bailey, Lena Horne, Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughan.[2]

Her music appears in the animated short film Black Soul (2002).

She is also a children's book writer (author of Nana, What Do You Say?); an educator, long associated with the University of Laval in Quebec City and the Schulich School of Music of McGill University;[3] and she hosted the television series The Performers.[4]

Honors and awards[edit]

Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award in 1988 for her musical and actorial achievements. Lee was named a member of the Order of Canada in 2006. She received the International Association of Jazz Educators award in 2004 and 2008.[5] She won a 2010 Juno Award for her album Ranee Lee - Lives Upstairs.


  • Live at the Bijou (1984)
  • Deep Song (1989)
  • The Musicals: Jazz on Broadway (1992)
  • I Thought About You (1994)
  • You Must Believe in Swing (1996)
  • Seasons of Love (1997)
  • Dark Divas (2000)
  • Maple Groove (2004)
  • Just You, Just Me (2005)
  • Ranee Lee - Lives Upstairs (2009)
  • A Celebration In Time (2010)
  • What's Going On (2014)



  1. ^ "Ranee Lee", Five Bucks On By-Tor, April 19, 2009. Archived May 2, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Ricardo McRae, "Ranee Lee", Who's Who In Black Canada, March 15, 2011.
  3. ^ "Ranee Lee" Archived 2010-12-04 at the Wayback Machine, Justin Time Records.
  4. ^ Lucas Sader, "Ranee Lee: Dark Diva", dig! Magazine, May/June 2010.
  5. ^ Ranee Lee at Wild West Artist Management.

External links[edit]