JAZZ VIOLINIST AND VOCALIST
The violin section of a 100-piece symphony orchestra isn’t the place you’d expect to find a jazz musician, but that is where jazz vocalist and violinist Diane Perry has spent much of her time since graduating from Juilliard. “I grew up listening to the standards as much as I did classical music, and I was always singing and playing along. My vocal range meant I often needed a different key than most of the singers I listened to, so if I couldn’t sing the melody along with a recording, I would sing harmonies and counter-melodies. Luckily, I have always had a great ear, and this is one of the ways it developed.”
Composing extemporaneously over the harmonies of songs is the basis for jazz improvisation, but the Long Island, NY native didn’t regard what she was doing as the same thing as jazz at the time. “I was just exploring my individual musical expression in a way classical music didn’t allow, with the great songs that I loved so much.”
Putting aside aspirations to join the ranks of Sinatra and Ella, Coltrane and Evans, Diane Perry played all the jobs any busy freelance violinist in the New York City area would do, from Lincoln Center concerts to club dates, Broadway, operas and weddings. Then, Diane got the call to play with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, one of the best and busiest swing bands in New York. It was her first experience playing in a big band as there is little call for violin in such ensembles. There she got to solo with, listen to, and learn from the biggest up-and-coming jazz talent around, since so many of the best young jazz musicians arriving in New York have come up in its ranks.
Developing her craft, Diane Perry pursued opportunities to play and record jazz as a sideman with many accomplished artists, among them Frank Wess, David Amram, Scott Robinson, The DMP Big Band, The Hot Club of Philadelphia, Frank Vignola, Dan Block, Jeff Tyzik, Tom Harrell, Dan Levinson, Luis Bonilla, Dan Barrett, and even groups of other genres like George Usher Group and The Trailer Park Troubadours. Her jazz group was interviewed and performed live on WNYC Radio’s Around New York with Steve Sullivan. She also helped produce recordings for composer, arranger and trombonist Scott Whitfield, and co-produced the soundtrack for Woody Allen’s Everyone Says I Love You.
Gradually, Diane inserted more vocals into her instrumental jazz performances, and the audience reactions, as well as those of her colleagues, were tremendously encouraging. “I have had people come up to me and say that they got goose bumps, and even actually cried tears after some of my songs. These experiences told me that it was imperative to record my singing, and to get to perform more for people as a vocalist.” She continues, “Connecting to an audience in a visceral way and really communicating something important is the function of all art, and knowing that I had perfected my craft enough to move people that way is intensely gratifying.”
Diane Perry’s debut solo recording is slated for completion in May 2011, and the release, containing standards, quirky upbeat tunes and her own original compositions, is sure to transport this talented artist out from under the radar and onto the world stage. Bookings throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and festivals worldwide, as well as radio interviews, are being scheduled to support its release.
For Bookings or More Info Contact Diane Perry
1515 Brookside Drive, Union, NJ 07083
JAZZ VIOLINIST AND VOCALIST