Dianne Reeves: captivating audiences with her passionate voice

Dianne Reeves quote

We’re continuing to celebrate talented ladies in Jazz during Women’s History month by paying tribute to Dianne Reeves – an icon in vocal jazz. Dianne Reeves is renowned as a versatile jazz vocalist with a soulful and passionate voice. Whether reimagining jazz standards, delving into R&B, or world music, this Diva showcases remarkable versatility and skill.


Born on October 23, 1956, in Detroit, Michigan, Dianne Reeves was exposed to music from an early age. Growing up in a musically inclined family, she honed her skills by singing with her father’s band and listening to jazz greats. Reeves spoke about her musical influences: “The singer who really opened the door for me was Sarah Vaughan. But I listen to so much music, especially when I was growing up. My parents loved jazz music, so on Saturday it would be the “Longine’s Symphonettes,” and on Sunday it was Mahalia Jackson.” 

Reeves’s career took off in the late 1970s when she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her musical aspirations. In LA the singer had a chance to perform with jazz artists like Stanley Turrentine, Lenny White, and Billy Childs. She quickly gained recognition for her soulful voice, captivating audiences with her performances in local clubs and venues. Her talent soon caught the attention of renowned musicians and producers, propelling her into the spotlight of the jazz scene.

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Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Dianne Reeves solidified her reputation as one of the preeminent jazz vocalists of her generation. Reeves’s ability to effortlessly blend elements of jazz, R&B, and world music into her performances showcased her versatility and innovation as an artist. She moved to New York City, and from 1983 to 1986 toured with Harry Belafonte.

One of Reeves’s defining moments came with the release of her landmark album, “I Remember,” in 1991. The album received critical acclaim and earned her the first of her five Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Performance. With each subsequent release, including “The Calling” and “A Little Moonlight,” Reeves continued to wow audiences and critics alike with her continuous explorations of musical styles.

Beyond her solo career, Dianne Reeves had important collaborations with prominent musicians across genres (Jazz, R&B, Latin, Afro-Cuban), like Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Robert Glasper, and Chucho Valdés. Reeves’s musical partnerships have showcased her versatility and adaptability as an artist. When asked by Canada’s JAZZ.FM 91 to define a successful musical relationship, the singer replied: “Just that we respect each other, we love the music that we’re doing together, and that every night we’ve all agreed that we’ll go out and give 100 per cent.”

In 2018 Dianne Reeves was honored as an NEA Jazz Master for her contributions to jazz.  

Learn more about Dianne Reeves HERE

“Art is a direct reflection of the life you live. What you experience comes out in your work.”
-Dianne Reeves


Dianne Reeves’ has a rich, deep sound that blends elements of jazz, R&B, and world music seamlessly. She has a multi-octave range that’s warm, dark, and magisterial on the bottom, and light and clear on top.  What makes her singing compelling, is Reeves’ personal and emotional approach to every song she performs. “I try to only sing things that I have a strong feeling for, to paint a clear picture. In that way, it’s cathartic. On stage, there’s a release of whatever’s been going on day-to-day. And I feel lifted by the words I choose to express myself. All you can trust is yourself.” It’s that authenticity and passion that attracts audiences to Dianne Reeves’ music.

This live recording from Reeves’ early years showcases the singer’s musicianship and charisma. (Recorded by Arkadia Records for a special TV appearance). Enjoy the performance!


As a pioneering woman in jazz, Dianne Reeves has inspired aspiring musicians, particularly women, to pursue their dreams and defy conventions in the music world. She approaches music in a deeply personal way, without being too worried about belonging to a particular genre, and encourages other female musicians to do the same. “The biggest things I tell young women are: There is nobody like you. What you have to say absolutely matters. Trust your instincts, refine and define those things. Don’t be afraid to sing and explore what you’re attracted to. Don’t listen to the noise. Don’t be afraid!” 


76600 Dianne Reeves Everything Must Change Album Cover
We were fortunate to meet Dianne Reeves in 1981 when her career was just taking off. We had a chance to record her in a special performance for Ad Lib TV Series. Even as a young singer, Dianne already showed the maturing and confidence of a jazz star. The performance resulted in the Album “Everything Must Change”.  The Album features some of the iconic songs from the Great American songbook, such as “Stormy Weather” and “Love for Sale”, and showcases Dianne Reeve’s ability to breathe new air into old beloved tunes.
Learn more about “Everything Must Change” on the Album’s page
Hope you enjoy March by listening to Dianne’s beautiful songs!


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