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Dianne Reeves

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Information about Dianne Reeves

Profile image of Dianne Reeves

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Jazz Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Brazilian Style Collard Greens
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Home
Favorite Quote:
Stay Ready So You Don't Have To Get Ready.

Birthplace

Born:
10/23/1956
Birth Location:
Detroit, Michigan

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Jazz Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Brazilian Style Collard Greens
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Home
Favorite Quote:
Stay Ready So You Don't Have To Get Ready.

Birthplace

Born:
10/23/1956
Birth Location:
Detroit
See how Dianne Reeves is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Jazz singer Dianne Reeves was born on October 23, 1956 in Detroit, Michigan. Her father passed away when she was two years old, leaving Reeves to be reared by her mother, Vada Swanson, and maternal family members in Denver, Colorado. Reeves’ uncle, Charles Burrell, was a bassist in the Colorado Symphony who introduced Reeves to jazz. While attending Denver’s George Washington High School, Reeves sang in a big band that performed at the National Association of Jazz Educators’ convention, where Reeves was discovered by her future mentor, jazz trumpeter Clark Terry. After high school, Reeves briefly studied music at the University of Colorado, before moving to Los Angeles, California in 1976.

In Los Angeles, Reeves studied with vocal coach Phil Moore, and performed with Caldera’s Eddie del Barrio, jazz pianist Billy Childs, and her cousin, George Duke. In 1981, Reeves toured internationally with Brazilian musician Sergio Mendes. Her first album, Welcome to My Love was released by Palo Alto Records in 1982. Then, between 1983 and 1986, Reeves toured as a lead vocalist with Harry Belafonte, who introduced her to West African and West Indian rhythms. She signed with Blue Note Records in 1987, and released Dianne Reeves, an album that held the number one spot on contemporary jazz charts for eleven weeks. Reeves released a series of albums with Blue Note, including I Remember, Never Too Far, Art & Survival, Quiet After the Storm, The Grand Encounter, That Day... and Bridges.

Starting in 2001, Reeves received Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Performance for her consecutive albums, In the Moment -- Live in Concert, The Calling: Celebrating Sarah Vaughn, and A Little Moonlight, produced by Arif Mardin. Reeves appeared as a jazz singer in George Clooney’s historical drama, Good Night, and Good Luck; and recorded the soundtrack for which she received her fourth Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal in 2006. Beautiful Life, produced by Terri Lyne Carrington and released by Concord Records in 2014, featured covers of songs by Bob Marley, Fleetwood Mac and Marvin Gaye, and guest artists such as Esperanza Spalding, Gregory Porter, Lalah Hathaway and Robert Glasper. Reeves received the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Performance for the album.

Reeves recorded and performed with Wynton Marsalis, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and sang as the featured soloist with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic. Reeves was also the first vocalist to perform at the famed Walt Disney Concert Hall; and she performed at the White House on multiple occasions such as President Barack Obama’s State Dinner for the President of China as well as the Governor’s Ball. Reeves was a recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from the Berklee College of Music and the Julliard School. In 2018, the National Endowment for the Arts designated Reeves a Jazz Master – the highest honor the United States bestows on jazz artists.

Dianne Reeves was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 24, 2016.

See how Dianne Reeves is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dianne Reeves' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dianne Reeves lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dianne Reeves describes her mother's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dianne Reeves recalls her maternal grandmother's stories about Quantrill's Raiders
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dianne Reeves describes her mother's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dianne Reeves describes her mother's childhood in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dianne Reeves recalls her mother's educational experiences
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dianne Reeves describes her mother's siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dianne Reeves describes her father and how her parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dianne Reeves describes how she takes after her parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dianne Reeves remembers moving to Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Dianne Reeves describes where she lived in Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Dianne Reeves describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Dianne Reeves recalls confronting her teacher at Denver's Cure d'Ars Catholic School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dianne Reeves recalls her final year at Denver's Cure d'Ars Catholic School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dianne Reeves recalls her transition to Denver's Hamilton Junior High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dianne Reeves recalls racial discrimination at Hamilton Junior High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dianne Reeves recalls a student-led demonstration at Hamilton Junior High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dianne Reeves recalls representing students at a meeting after their protest
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dianne Reeves describes the drug culture at Hamilton Junior High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dianne Reeves recalls a choral performance at Hamilton Junior High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dianne Reeves recalls learning songs from her great aunt
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dianne Reeves describes her early experiences as a singer
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dianne Reeves talks about Denver's Five Points neighborhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dianne Reeves recalls discovering her vocal talent
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dianne Reeves describes Denver's George Washington High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dianne Reeves recalls her early musical experiences in Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dianne Reeves remembers her early musical inspirations
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dianne Reeves remembers learning vocal improvisation
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dianne Reeves describes the development of her vocal style, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dianne Reeves remembers meeting trumpeter Clark Terry
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dianne Reeves recalls her early performances with jazz greats
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dianne Reeves recalls traveling to Europe with her high school choir
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dianne Reeves remembers meeting Sarah Vaughan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dianne Reeves describes the development of her vocal style, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dianne Reeves recalls the influx of jazz music in the 1970s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dianne Reeves recalls being hired at The Warehouse nightclub in Denver
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dianne Reeves describes the evolution of jazz standards in the 1970s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dianne Reeves remembers her experiences at The Warehouse nightclub
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dianne Reeves recalls moving from Denver, Colorado to Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dianne Reeves recalls joining the Latin jazz group Caldera
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dianne Reeves remembers meeting Billy Childs for the first time
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dianne Reeves recalls forming the band Night Flight with Billy Childs
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dianne Reeves recalls her vocal training with jazz artist Phil Moore
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dianne Reeves talks about the challenges faced by female musicians
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dianne Reeves recalls joining Sergio Mendes and Brasil '88
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dianne Reeves describes the impact of her work with Sergio Mendes
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dianne Reeves remembers touring with Harry Belafonte
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dianne Reeves recalls her transition to New York City's music scene
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dianne Reeves describes her early musical experiences in New York City
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dianne Reeves recalls performing at New York City's Sounds of Brazil nightclub
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dianne Reeves talks about her cousin, keyboardist and producer George Duke
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dianne Reeves remembers signing a contract with Blue Note Records
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dianne Reeves describes the significance of her song, 'Better Days'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dianne Reeves remembers singer Phyllis Hyman
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dianne Reeves describes her response to critical reviews
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dianne Reeves talks about her album, 'Never Too Far'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dianne Reeves recalls the impact of her album, 'Never Too Far,' on her career
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dianne Reeves talks about the song, 'Fumilayo'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dianne Reeves remembers meeting Miles Davis for the first time
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dianne Reeves recalls Miles Davis' first impression of her voice
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dianne Reeves describes her preferred method of live performance
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Dianne Reeves reflects upon her identity as a musician
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Dianne Reeves describes the significance of her album, 'Art and Survival'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dianne Reeves remembers singer Betty Carter
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dianne Reeves describes her work with Betty Carter
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dianne Reeves describes her song, 'The Benediction (Country Preacher)'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dianne Reeves recalls the development of her album, 'The Calling'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dianne Reeves recalls confronting the arranger of 'The Calling'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dianne Reeves describes the live recording of 'The Calling'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dianne Reeves talks about the soundtrack to 'Good Night, And Good Luck'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dianne Reeves recalls the Nina Simone tribute show 'Sing the Truth!'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Dianne Reeves talks about singer Angelique Kidjo
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Dianne Reeves describes the second 'Sing the Truth!' tour
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dianne Reeves describes her performance in 'A Tribute to Abbey Lincoln'
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dianne Reeves describes her album, 'Beautiful Life'
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dianne Reeves describes her collaborators on the album, 'Beautiful Life'
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Dianne Reeves talks about her family members
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Dianne Reeves remembers her mother's death
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Dianne Reeves talks about her mentorship projects
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Dianne Reeves talks about collaboration between jazz musicians
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Dianne Reeves talks about popular genres of music
  • Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Dianne Reeves talks about her works in progress
  • Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Dianne Reeves lists musicians with whom she would like to collaborate
  • Tape: 8 Story: 12 - Dianne Reeves describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 8 Story: 13 - Dianne Reeves describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Dianne Reeves narrates her photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Dianne Reeves narrates her photographs, pt. 2