2018 was a lucky year for Dianne Reeves who was nominated, in April, NEA Jazz Master, the highest American honour in the field of jazz and, in September, she was honoured with the title Jazz Legend by the Monterey Festival in America which also dedicated a special showcase to her, giving her the opportunity to perform in different contexts. Earlier, Reeves had also received an honorary doctorate from the prestigious Juilliard School of New York in a ceremony at the Lincoln Center.
These are only the latest awards paid to the singer from Detroit, who has won five Grammy Awards (with nine nominations) in her career. Among these, the Grammy for the soundtrack of the beautiful film by George Clooney, Good Night, And Good Luck. The priceless black and white of the film combined well with the cool atmospheres of the songs sung by Reeves against the backdrop of the America of McCarthyism.
Dianne Reeves is the direct heir to the great tradition of jazz vocalists and among her inspirations we find legends like Sarah Vaughan and Carmen McRae. Her flexibility, however, allows her to be completely at ease in different genres such as soul and more refined pop.
Following in her family’s footsteps (singer father, trumpeter mother, George Duke was a cousin of hers), she began singing as a young girl until she was discovered and launched by Clark Terry. Her first engagements were with Sergio Mendes and Harry Belafonte, but her career breakthrough came with the contract with Blue Note, with whom Reeves has recorded virtually all her albums up to the last, Beautiful Life, released by Concord.