Dee Daniels is an accomplished vocalist and musician's musician, passionately delivers timeless performances in multiple genres that include: jazz, blues, gospel, and her original compositions. Her newest CD, the 2021 release, The Promise has garnered awards in multiple categories from the Global Music Awards, and Spiritual Artist of the Year from the Western Canada Music Awards. A sultry songsmith and master of storytelling, she has performed for royalty and international dignitaries on multiple occasions, and has an extensive list of performances with combos and big bands. Her international career includes performances across Europe, the United Kingdom, Russia, Australia, South America, Hong Kong, Japan, India, Egypt, twelve African countries, and throughout North America.
She crossed the threshold of the classical world with the creation of her spellbinding Symphony Pops programs, “Great Ladies of Swing”, "Unforgettable: 100 Years of Nat and Natalie Cole", “The Great American Swing Book”, "A Night Out With The Boys",”The Soul of Ray: The Music of Ray Charles”, and "Red, Hot, and Blues". She has performed and recorded with orchestras throughout North America and abroad. In addition to her accredited presence and magnetic prowess on keys, Daniels adds a spellbinding four octave plus vocal range to her potent, natural and unique spin on every song she touches.
Her vocal style was born deep in the gospel roots of her stepfather’s Baptist church choir in Oakland, California, refined through the R&B era, and smoothly polished during a five-year stay in The Netherlands and Belgium from 1982 to 1987. Dee Daniels has performed and/or recorded with the who’s who of the Jazz world including Jazz legends: Benny Green, Houston Person, John Clayton, Russell Malone, Wycliffe Gordon, Cyrus Chestnut, Clark Terry, Ken Peplowski, Kenny Barron, Bill Mays, Jeff Clayton, Benny Golson, Grady Tate, Toots Thielemans, Jeff Hamilton, Monty Alexander, Steve Wilson, Marvin Stamm, Lewis Nash, Kenny Washington, Norman Simmons, Hank and Elvin Jones, Dennis MacKrel, Steve Davis, Martin Wind, Bucky Pizzarelli, Helen Sung, Christian McBride, David Young, Neil Swainson and many, many more.
In 2020 the National Congress of Black Women of Canada honoured Dee with a Legacy Award; in 2010 she received a nomination for an Atlanta Theater’s Suzi Bass Award; in 2009 received an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Fine Arts and the 2008 President’s Award, both from Capilano University; a recipient of the prestigious and most coveted Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 2003 saw her induction into the University of Montana’s School of Fine Arts Hall of Honor; a 1997 University of Montana Distinguished Alumni Award; a 2002 induction into the British Columbia Entertainment Hall of Fame and member of Vancouver’s Granville Street Walk of Fame are a testament to her dedication to music.
Dee has cultivated a diverse career that has also seen her on theatre stages including the 2009 premiere of New York choreographer, Twyla Tharp’s, musical, Come Fly Away, and the critically acclaimed musical, Wang Dang Doodle at the Arts Club in Vancouver, BC. She is an inspirational speaker with keynote addresses being delivered at the 2009 Women’s CEO & Senior Management Summit in Toronto, the British Columbia Music Teachers Conference, commencement addresses at Capilano University, and many other speaking engagements.
An internationally respected vocal clinician, adjudicator and mentor, Dee presents clinics, workshops, and master classes globally. In 2019 she joined the faculty of the Conservatory of Music at the University of the Pacific (CA); served on the President's Advisory Council for the Jazz Education Network (JEN) from 2016 - 2018; was Artistic Director for the West Coast’s DeMiero Jazz Fest from 2011 to 2018; created the Dee Daniels Jazz Vocal Scholarship awarded at the DeMiero Jazz Festival in Edmonds, WA in 2017; was on the faculty of the vocal department of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College (NY) 2013 - 2014. In 2013, she created the week-long Dee Daniels Vocal Jazz Workshop Camp at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp; from 2001 through 2017, she was the creator and donor for the Dee Daniels Jazz Vocal Scholarship at the Capilano University in North Vancouver, BC. She was the first artist to serve on the Advisory Board of the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival (2002 - 2008), and has received several awards for her contribution in the field of music performance, music education, and community service.
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Dee Daniels is a jazz vocalist with a unique sound, steeped in the art of storytelling through song. Performing a mix of standards, blues, gospel, and original compositions, all with interesting and unique arrangements, she transcends musical borders when she brings her jazz styling, infused with gospel and blues flavoring to the stage.
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With a palpable authenticity, towering four-octave range, and a powerful blues and gospel-tinged jazz vocal approach, Dee Daniels has built a sterling reputation amongst jazz fans and critics around the world for over three decades. Well represented throughout her career in performances and recordings with such jazz luminaries as Monty Alexander, Russell Malone, Cyrus Chestnut, Houston Person, Bucky Pizzarelli, Jeff Clayton, Ken Peplowski, Kenny Barron, to mention a few, she has also performed and/or recorded with symphony orchestras and big bands globally. Learn more about Dee at www.deedaniels.com
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Dee Daniels is a unique talent who transcends musical borders when she brings her jazz styling, infused with gospel and blues flavoring, to the stage. She performs and records globally with symphony orchestras, big bands, combos, and with numerous jazz legends including Monty Alexander, John Clayton, Wycliffe Gordon, Cyrus Chestnut, Eric Alexander, Ken Peplowski, and Russell Malone. Dee has 14 CDs as a leader to her credit, including her 2021 multi-award winning and critically acclaimed CD, The Promise. Her 2013 release, State of the Art, on Criss Cross Jazz Records which made her the first vocalist and female leader in the label’s 40+ year history. Visit www.deedaniels.com for detailed information about Dee’s extensive career.
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Dee Daniels is a crowd pleaser and a musician’s musician. Whether accompanying herself at the piano, fronting a trio, big band or symphony, she is a unique talent who transcends musical borders when she brings her jazz styling, infused with gospel and blues flavouring, to the stage.
The stepdaughter of a Baptist minister, Dee was born and raised in Oakland, CA. Though she graduated from university with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art Education, music was always a big part of her life. However, she didn’t discover her true calling to it until after teaching art in a Seattle high school for a year. She then joined a band, resigned her teaching position, and the rest is history!
She has since traveled the world with her music. She has shared the stage and/or recorded with numerous legends of jazz including Houston Person, Monty Alexander, John Clayton, Russell Malone, Cyrus Chestnut, Ken Peplowski, and Lewis Nash to mention a few. Her diverse career has seen her in clubs, on festivals, prestigious music halls around the world, theater stages, television and radio, performances for royalty and international dignitaries, and on many recordings as leader or guest.
Dee has also established herself as a jazz vocalist in demand by the classical world, performing her five symphonic Pops programs with orchestras in the US, Canada, and Europe. Many organizations and institutions in and out of the music industry have recognized Dee with awards for her contributions in music, education, and community service.
"LET FREEDOM RING (THE BALLAD OF JOHN LEWIS)" - 2021
"THE PROMISE" - 2021
“INTIMATE CONVERSATIONS” - 2014
“STATE OF THE ART” - 2013
“INTIMATE ELLINGTON: BALLADS AND BLUES” - 2012 (Guest Artist)
“JAZZ DIVA SERIES - DEE DANIELS” - 2011
“JAZZINIT” - 2007
“CROSSOVER XMAS - THE SOUND GOES BIG” - 2007 (Guest Artist)
“DEE DANIELS LIVE AT BIBLO, a DVD” - 2006
“SACRED MUSIC OF DUKE ELLINGTON” - 2006 (Guest Artist)
“FIRST NAME BASIS” 2006 (Guest Artist)
“SWINGIN’ AFFAIR” - 2006 (Guest Artist)
“CROSSOVER XMAS” - 2005 (Guest Artist)
“FEELS SO GOOD!” - 2002
“LOVE STORY” - 2000
“HOLIDAY POPS WITH THE VANCOUVER SYMPHONY” - 2000 (Guest Artist)
“WISH ME LOVE” - 1996
“DRIP SOME GREASE” - 1995 (Guest Artist)
“CLOSE ENCOUNTER OF THE SWINGIN’ KIND” - 1991
“LET’S TALK BUSINESS” - 1990
“THE MUSIC MADE ME SING IT” - 1987
“ALL OF ME” - 1984
Let Freedom Ring (The Ballad of John Lewis)
I Could Have Danced All Night
Here's That Rainy Day
I Who Have Nothing
Come Rain Or Come Shine
Sweet Georgia Brown
Dee Daniels Soars - Vocalist brings the good stuff Friday night
by Shawn O’Neal
Daily News staff writer
It’s become the natural question this time each year. If Dee Daniels doesn’t draw a standing ovation, has the University of Idaho Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival actually taken place?
Alas, the answer will have to wait for at least another year. In a night highlighted by female vocalists, the festival went to its first lady for an opening salvo and, as usual, the Vancouver, B.C. singer brought the crowd to it’s feet.
A night after teaming with singer Roberta Gambarini and saxophonist Houston Person to deliver one of the festival’s early highlights with “Honeysuckle Rose,” Daniels broke out the good stuff again Friday. Daniels’ bluesy deliver on “Dr. Feelgood” made the standing ovation that followed seem anticlimactic as the crowd had started rising to its feet before she was even finished.
Daniels was helped along by the guitar solo of Russell Malone, who seemed to revel in the song’s blues leanings. “It’s great to be here, especially when you have these guys up here with you,” Daniels said.
She was speaking of the house quartet of Malone, drummer Jeff Hamilton, bassist John Clayton and pianist Benny Green who gave way to Daniels on piano. Hamilton laid down a blistering solo on the opening tune, drawing the crowd’s early appreciation and – as Daniels did for the singers – setting the bar for the rest of the night’s instrumentalists.
More Daniels Needed
by Mary Kunz, News Classical Music Critic
The Buffalo News, Buffalo, New York
Dee Daniels’ voice brings to mind all the most delirious adjectives: Honeyed. Sweet. Low, rich, smooth and slow as molasses.
In “Everything Ellingto,” Daniels ended the first set with “I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good.” It was one of the saddest things I’ve ever heard. By the time she finished the lament, she sounded as if she were sobbing into the microphone.
To round things out, she also belted out an “Everyday I Have The Blues” that would have brought a grin to Joe Williams’ face. This woman brought the house down. The raucous blues ended with a high note the likes of which I don’t think I’ve ever heard. Daniels held that note until it was thin as ribbon, then fattened it out and pulled it down into the lowlands. That’s the blues! After that, it’ll be a little tough to go back to the band at the corner bar.
RPO swing with the best
by John Pitcher, Staff Music Critic
Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, NY
Jazz vocalist Dee Daniels joined the RPO to sing a selection of Basie and Ellington songs, and she had little trouble stealing the show. In the great vocal tradition of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, Daniels does much more than simply sing precisely and on pitch -- which she always did.
Instead, she used the extraordinary range and velvety texture of her voice like an instrument, wrapping its smoky texture around each word of a lyric to give the song added meaning, nuance and expression.
Showstoppers, Dee Daniels’ jazz liven Palm Beach Pops concert at the Kravis Center
by David A. Frye
Special to the Palm Beach Daily News
The second half of the program was dedicated to the “Great Ladies of Swing,” Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, with guest soloist Dee Daniels returning to the Pops stage.
Daniels, a vocalist with a four-octave range, has hung and sung with many of the best in the business, including Vaughan.
In short, the Great American Songbook is in her DNA. But while the easiest thing for a performer with this kind of assignment to do is to attempt to re-create the essence of the singers - or worse, slip into impressions of them - Daniels truly honored these "great ladies" by putting her own distinctive style on songs they made famous. The result was a performance that was amazingly fresh and fun.
CSO showcases Jazz Chanteuse Dee Daniels
by Lindsay Koob
Night of Nostalgia
Charleston City Paper
The Charleston Symphony began its McCrady’s Pops series with a bang last Saturday, treating a fair-sized audience to a delightful evening of swing-era standards from jazz vocalist-extraordinaire Dee Daniels.
The program, entitled Great Ladies of Swing, was a tribute to four of our greatest jazz chanteuses: Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, and Sarah Vaughan. Given their exalted statures, it wasn’t hard to come up with lots of great music.
No sooner had she delivered “There’ll Be Some Changes Made,” her first number, when she paused to chat with her listeners from the stage – and she soon had us laughing a lot and eating out of her hand. I kid you not: The lady stood a willowy six-foot-five (in four-inch heels), but she asked us to imagine her as a short, very voluptuous creature with a “blond bob” – even though (as she pointed out) she’s black.
She soon had us trained to respond to her questions with resounding choruses of “Yes, Dee.”
After all, she had mesmerized us by then, with that fabulous voice of hers. Her vocal foundation is a rich, often breathy alto, but she made it croon, whimper, simper, flirt, cajole, sob, growl, and scream. She indulged her stupefying four-octave range now and then – swooping up into the vocal stratosphere and laying down silky, spine-tingling strings of high notes.
I wish I had room to tell you about all the wonderful, nostalgia-ridden songs she brought to vivid life, but my faves included two Billie Holiday numbers: “God Bless the Child” and a sock-it-to-’em piece called “Gimme a Pigfoot.” Ella Fitzgerald treasures included “Summertime,” “Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good).” Among the Sarah Vaughan specialties were “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars” and “Send in the Clowns.”
The CSO – her “big band” backup for the evening – did some sweet swinging of its own under resident conductor Scott Terrell. Then there was her terrific combo: Ted Brancato at the piano, with Russell Botten on bass and Greg Williamson on drums.
Did we all have the kind of “finger-snappin’, toe-tappin’, head-bobbin’ good time” that she told us to? And do we want her to come back soon?
All together, now: “Yes, Dee.”
Dee Daniels - Vancouver’s Honeysuckle Rose
by Joe Montague
Riveting Riffs Magazine
Singing a jazz cover of Earth, Wind & Fire’s, “Can’t Hide Love,” Dee Daniels was impressive from the time that she took to the stage, with her opening tune, at the Kay Meek Centre Studio Theatre in West Vancouver, Canada. Daniels, whose music receives plenty of airplay in both the United States and Canada, kicked off Vancouver’s Winter Song Festival, in the intimate, studio theater, which had been redesigned to take on a jazz lounge like atmosphere.
Dressed in high heels that put the statuesque Daniels well over six feet tall, sheer charcoal colored slacks, and a charcoal and red embroidered jacket, her long fingers, curled around the microphone, as she cooed the Stevie Wonder tune, “Another Star,” which Daniels covered for her JAZZINIT CD.
Daniels, infused the 1926 Fred Rose and Walter Hirsch song, “Deed I Do,” with passion and intimacy, while injecting sense of flirting with both the lyrics and her audience. Stage actress and singer Ruth Etting, first made the song famous recording it for Columbia, however it is Dee Daniels, who on this evening delivered with authenticity, the lines, “Do I love you? / Oh my, do I? Honey, ’deed I do!” Were she not wearing a wedding ring, there may have been more than a few suitors lining up between sets.
Daniel’s first set consisted mostly of songs from what numerous artists are now referring to as the New American Songbook. Tunes such as James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain,” the Otis Taylor / Aretha Franklin song, “Respect,” Lionel Richie’s, “Hello,” and Ruby and The Romantic’s, # 1 song from 1963, “Our Day Will Come.” Daniel’s also unveiled an incredible cover of the Doobie Brothers’ “What A Fool Believes.” All of the songs, have been set in new jazz arrangements and can be heard on Daniels’ CD JAZZINIT.
For her second set, Daniels took her fans for a musical stroll down memory lane, dipping into the more traditional standards. Perhaps the most romantic moment of the evening came when Dee Daniels gently cooed, “It Had To Be You,” leaving the listener with not much else to do but sigh, and with thoughts of whispering “I love you,” in the ear of that someone special.
Incredible Singer Dee Daniels Has a Four-Octave Range
by Red Robinson
The Vancouver Sun
“Silky impassioned.” “Extraordinary range.” “She can sing gospel, jazz and blues comfortably and with great emotion.” These are some of the descriptions various publications around the world have used to proclaim the incredible talents of Dee Daniels.
Her four-octave range enthralls an audience. Whether she’s performing in an intimate jazz club or fronting a big band or full symphony orchestra, she seems relaxed, comfortable and in command at all times. Like Diana Krall, she accompanies herself on the piano with exceptional ease and artistry.
Her musical journey began in her stepfather’s church choir in Oakland, Calif. She honed her talents in the R&B era, then left for a five-year stay in Europe (1982 - 1987). During those learning years she had the opportunity to perform with jazz legends such as Toots Thielemans, Johnny Griffin and Ed Thigpen to name a few. She even sang the blues with the late Sarah Vaughan and gospel with Joe Williams.
Her career has taken her all over the world and to all the major international festivals including Japan’s Kobe Jazz Street Festival, Ireland’s Cork Jazz Festival, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in the US, and of course, the DuMaurier Jazz Festivals here in Canada.
Along with her incredible talent, Daniels is also a very giving person, and in 2001 established the Dee Daniels Jazz Vocal Scholarship at Capilano College for young singers and musicians. Her own honors include the FANS Award (a North Vancouver Arts Council presentation), a nomination for Vocalist of the Year, and a nomination for her Love Story album as Best Jazz CD of the Year by the West Coast Music Awards.
Daniels was inducted into the B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2002, and has a plaque bearing her name on Vancouver’s Walk of Fame on Granville Street. In 2003, she received the prestigious Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and was inducted into the University of Montana’s School of Fine Arts, Hall of Honour.
The artists Daniels has performed with reads like a who’s who: John Clayton Jr., Clark Terry, Hank Jones, Houston Person, Russell Malone, Jeff Hamilton, Ken Peplowski, Monty Alexander, and more. Each is a fan of her inimitable talent. She also performs on a regular basis with symphony orchestras including those in Vancouver, Toronto, Winnipeg and Calgary, Berlin, Florida, Baltimore and Detroit.
Daniels is passionate about her work and it shows. It is a distinct pleasure for me to have this opportunity to inform you of this amazing lady’s multi-faceted talents.