Grammy Award-Winning Jazz Singer, Diane Schuur, Brings Her Crystalline, Soulful Voice to Irvine Barclay Theatre
Diane Schuur sings the music of her friends Frank Sinatra and Stan Getz.
Friday, January 10, 2020 at 8pm
Tickets: $40, $50, $60, $100
Irvine Barclay Theatre - 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine CA
www.thebarclay.org | 949.854.4646
Long regarded as one of contemporary jazz's leading vocalists, two-time Grammy winner Diane Schuur is as eclectic as she is brilliant. With a career spanning four illustrious decades, she sings the treasured standards from the Great American Songbook with intimate tenderness, pitch-perfect execution and an assured sense of rhythm and phrasing.
Employing many of the top jazz players in the country, including two-time Grammy-winning saxophonist Ernie Watts, Schuur is an alluring entertainer. Possessing a crystalline, three-and-a-half-octave vocal range, she traverses a straight-ahead brand of jazz in her trademark style—simultaneously romantic and mischievous, radiating warmth and soulful passion.
DIANE SCHUUR MASTERCLASS @ OSCA
Diane Schuur will conduct a masterclass at the Orange County School of the Arts on Thursday, January 9, 2020 from 3:30pm to 4:40pm.
The master class combines students from the Popular Music and Instrumental Music conservatories, followed by a critique and Q&A.
Orange County School of the Arts 2019-2020 Master Artist Series welcomes prestigious artists and industry leaders to impart knowledge on the next generation.
“Her voice is impressive in its size, range and brightness. A song can suddenly fly up an octave into little-girl squeals, then make a swan dive into the murky depths. She uses her twirling vibrato as rhythmic punctuation. After drawing out a note, she dispenses that vibrato like the cherry on a Sunday.” — Stephen Holden (The New York Times)
“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.” — JAZZIZ magazine
“Her style incorporates both subtle jazz interpretation and the power of rhythm and blues.” — Victor L. Schermer (All About Jazz)
IN HER OWN WORDS
"Stan Getz was a good friend as well as a mentor. He taught me less is more when singing into the microphone. He also instilled the importance of enunciating while singing the words to a song. I had the honor to perform with Frank Sinatra as a replacement for Liza Minnelli who was ill. He gave me a chance to be part of his group and once I started singing, the audience responded quite positively.
“Frank and I had many deep conversations about life and my blindness. He painted a beautiful abstract canvas for me, which hangs in my home. He said to me I have seen so much beauty in my life I wish I could give you my eyes for one day to see this beautiful world we live in. Then he realized I could see it too in my own way.” — Diane Schuur
Long regarded as one of contemporary jazz's leading vocalists, Diane Schuur is as eclectic as she is brilliant. Born in Tacoma, Washington, Schuur was blind from birth; but she was gifted with perfect pitch and initially taught herself piano by ear. She later received formal piano training at The Washington State School for the Blind, which she attended until she was 11 years of age.
Nicknamed "Deedles" as a child, she grew up surrounded by the world of jazz embraced by both of her parents: Her father was an amateur pianist, and her mother kept a formidable collection of Duke Ellington and Dinah Washington albums in her home. Not surprisingly, Dinah Washington is often listed as Schuur's major vocal influence, and she learned the iconic singer's "What a Difference a Day Makes" while she was still a toddler. She also developed her own rich, resonant vocal style at a very young age.
With a distinguished recording career that spans three decades, including two Grammy awards (Timeless and Diane Schuur and The Count Basie Orchestra on GRP Records), as well as three additional Grammy Award nominations, Schuur's music has explored almost every corner of the 20th century musical landscape. Her musical collaborations include the aforementioned Count Basie Orchestra, Barry Manilow, B.B. King, Ray Charles and Jose Feliciano, among countless others. These collaborations have resulted in numerous No.1 Billboard chart recordings, including Pure Schuur and Heart to Heart with B.B. King; Ms. Schuur has appeared on PBS and many other television specials...as well as a very special visit to the beloved TV show, Sesame Street. Diane has been invited to perform at the White House on multiple occasions and was one of the select musical guests invited to perform for Stevie Wonder at the Kennedy Center Honors when he received his prestigious award. She continues to tour and perform extensively at major concert halls and venues around the world.
Most recently, Ms. Schuur recorded an homage to two of her very important mentors, Frank Sinatra and Stan Getz. The CD, entitled I Remember You (With Love to Stan and Frank) was released in June 2014, and also commemorates her "official" discovery 35 years ago by Stan Getz at the 1979 Monterey Jazz Festival. The recording features all new arrangements by Alan Broadbent.
Ernie Watts (Saxophone). The two-time Grammy Award winner has been featured on over 500 recordings by artists ranging from Cannonball Adderley to Frank Zappa. He started playing saxophone at age 13 and won a scholarship to the Wilmington Music School in Delaware where he studied classical music. Soon after, he won a DownBeat scholarship to the Berklee College of Music. From Berklee he joined Buddy Rich’s Big Band, before moving to Los Angeles. His signature sound was soon heard on countless TV shows and movie scores and with pop stars such as Aretha Franklin and Steely Dan. In 1983, he began performing with Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra and became a charter member in Haden’s critically acclaimed Quartet West. With 25 albums as a leader, he has generated an impressive artistic legacy on the world’s major stages. A respected educator, Watts also conducts university master classes and performs orchestral programs with symphonies internationally. In addition to his two Grammys, he was awarded the prestigious Frankfurt Music Prize for lifetime achievement in performance and composition.
Bruce Lett (Bass). Lett’s playing is “distinguished by a resilient tone and buoyant rhythmic attitude,” writes the Los Angeles Times. A concerto competition winner, he attended North Texas State University and played in the famous One O'clock Jazz Band. While living in Texas, he recorded hundreds of jingles and industrial films for such clients as Budweiser and Coca-Cola. He has played with Nancy Wilson, Freddie Hubbard, Billy Cobham, Gerry Mulligan, the Bill Holman Big Band and has been Jack Sheldon’s bassist for 20 years. He is proficient on both electric and acoustic instruments. His major influences include Ray Brown, Paul Chambers and Jaco Pastorius. Lett has established himself as one of Southern California jazz scene’s most in-demand players. He also serves on the faculty at California State University, Long Beach, as a jazz bass instructor.
Kendall Kay (Drums), born in Durban, South Africa, showed an interest in the drums at an early age. He pursued this interest, eventually playing and recording with many of the region’s major artists, including Steve Kekana, Johnny Fourie and Izzio Gross. In 1983, Kendall moved to Texas. He studied at North Texas State University, graduating with a degree in jazz studies. Kendall arrived in Los Angeles in 1987 and has been playing and recording in the city ever since. His credits include work with Kenny Burrell, Rickie Lee Jones, Kyle Eastwood, Allan Broadbent, Clare Fischer, Mary Wilson and Jack Jones. According to Jack Jones, “Kendall Kay is a drummer, who, if the rest of us can swing, gives us the permit. He is solid and tasteful, with a great sense of time.”
This event is sponsored by:
Carol and Les Elliott
Irvine Barclay Theatre Jazz Series Sponsor: Ken and Helene Rohl
Irvine Barclay Theatre 2019-2020 Season sponsor: UCI Health
About Irvine Barclay Theatre
Since opening its doors in 1990, Irvine Barclay Theatre has emerged as one of California's most imaginative performing arts showcases. A unique collaborative venture among the City of Irvine, the University of California, Irvine, and the private sector, the theatre has a reputation for wide-ranging programming in the fields of contemporary dance, music, and theater arts. Performances take place in the 750-seat "jewel box" theatre which is renowned for its intimate atmosphere and superb acoustics. Visit www.thebarclay.org to learn about our exciting new season!