Diane Schuur: Happy Birthday, Deedles!
Two-time Grammy-winning vocalist/pianist Diane Schuur is a leading vocalist in contemporary jazz, she is as eclectic as she is brilliant. Nicknamed “Deedles” as a child (her mother’s endearment), Tacoma-born Schuur grew up steeped in traditional American jazz, courtesy of her parents’ formidable record collection with ample LPs by Duke Ellington and Dinah Washington.
Dinah Washington is often listed as Schuur’s major vocal influence. She learned the iconic singer’s “What a Difference a Day Makes” while still a toddler and began developing her own rich, resonant vocal style. Jazziz Magazine describes her approach as one that encompasses her whole lifetime of singing: “Schuur’s vocal chops move from little-girl innocence to bawdy-mama blues in a hair’s breadth, but always at the service of the song.” Schuur is also an accomplished pianist, accompanying herself onstage, whether leading her own small group, with big band or symphony orchestra.
Schuur captures the essence of Dinah Washington on her newest album with a reflective version of Washington’s well-known “This Bitter Earth.” Co-produced by Schuur and Grammy winning saxophonist Ernie Watts, the project entitled Running On Faith features Schuur’s piano performance throughout, release date May 8, 2020 on Jazzheads Music Group. On this project, the vocalist creates new versions of songs for which she has a deep-rooted affection. Schuur arranges music by some of her favorite performers and songwriters; from Miles Davis to Carole King to Paul McCartney. According to the artist, “I’ve been focusing on the condition of our world and chose songs that make a statement about what is and also some songs of hope, about what can be.
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