- - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Since her first studio album, “Welcome to My Love,” was released in 1982, jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves has been in demand as a recording artist and in the concert hall. However, the Grammy-winning singer is far from content to bask in her successes.

Miss Reeves received her fifth Grammy Award this year for the 12-song “Beautiful Life,” which was named best jazz vocal album.

The album is dedicated to the memory of her mother, “who truly led a beautiful life” and inspired the closing ballad, “Long Road Ahead.”

“When I began thinking about ‘Beautiful Life’ and choosing the numbers to illustrate what makes a beautiful life, the idea was to turn it into more of a collaboration,” said Miss Reeves, whose voice is on the gripping soundtrack for the film “Good Night, and Good Luck,” which brought her fourth Grammy Award in 2006. “The young musicians involved are musically grounded in jazz, and it worked well. The artists performing with me at the Kennedy Center are impeccable musicians. It’s always a joy to work with the best in the business.”

Miss Reeves has assembled a who’s who of jazz masters for “Dianne Reeves and Friends,” a spectacular concert at the Kennedy Center on Saturday that she promises will thrill and astound the audience. The solo artist — admired for her soaring, three-octave-plus range — will be joined by guitarist Romero Lubambo, bassist Reginald Veal and drummer Terreon Gully, along with jazz pianist Billy Childs, Grammy-nominated pianist/composer John Beasley, jazz drummer and educator Terri Lyne Carrington and guitarist/singer Raul Midon, who made a profound impact during his two recent TED conference presentations on misconceptions about music and blindness.

Miss Reeves‘ father, a singer, died when she and her sister were young, but she said her mother, a trumpet player, nurtured their love of music. Other gifted family members include her uncle, Charles Burrell, a bass player with the Denver Symphony Orchestra, and her cousin, jazz piano and keyboard player George Duke.

“I also owe a great deal to Benny Williams, my first piano teacher in junior high school,” Miss Reeves said. “After our band won first place at a music festival, he introduced me to Clark Terry, who worked with many jazz greats and became my mentor.

“Phil Moore later became my vocal coach, and that led to touring with Harry Belafonte. Those people, and so many others along the way, have helped me develop my voice into what it is today.”

After studying music at the University of Colorado, Miss Reeves soon launched her professional career. Along the way, she sang in a jazz band led by Mr. Childs.

Miss Reeves also has toured with Eduardo del Barrio and Sergio Mendes, which cemented her kinship with Latin American music. That mastery of the Latin styles, coupled with her emulation of jazz singers Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan, propelled her to scale unexplored musical heights vocally and creatively.

“I love trying new things and rarely stand still,” she said. “We’ll be touring after the Kennedy Center show, but although it’s too soon to give any details, I can report that I’m already thinking about another project for the future.”


WHAT: Dianne Reeves and Friends

WHERE:Kennedy Center Concert Hall, 2700 F St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20566

WHEN: Saturday, 8 p.m.

INFO: Tickets: $20 to $68 by calling 202/467-4600 or 800/444-1324, or visit Kennedy-Center.org



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