diane schuur
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diane schuur

St. Louis, Missouri, United States | MAJOR

St. Louis, Missouri, United States | MAJOR
Band Jazz Country


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The best kept secret in music


"Diane Schuur does Country Jazz"

Diane Schuur

The Gathering

Since she first began recording, jazz legend Diane Schuur has had a dream. It is one she never got to achieve—until now. The singer wanted to record an album of classic country songs, those that inspired her when she was still a child. The singer has covered a lot of territory, collaborating with a range of artists from straight-ahead jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson and the swinging Count Basie Orchestra to the Latin-infused Caribbean Jazz Project to blues titan B.B. King and pop icon Stevie Wonder. She has received Grammy Awards, sold millions of albums and toured the world. But her roots were planted when she began listening to country music, and that’s where she wanted to go.

On The Gathering, her Vanguard Records debut, Deedles, as she’s fondly known to both friends and fans, turns a corner into a brand new lane, infusing her jazz sensibilities into ten country-brewed tunes from such seminal songwriters as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Hank Cochran, Kris Kristofferson, Roger Miller and others. Recorded in Nashville in largely a one day-long session on December 6, 2010, Schuur is accompanied by a stellar Nashville backup band augmented by several all-star caliber guests, including vocalists Alison Krauss, Vince Gill and Carmella Ramsey; guitarists Mark Knopfler and Larry Carlton; and tenor saxophonist Kirk Whalum.

The Gathering allows Diane Schuur to embrace her country roots for the first time, really, as a recording artist. Even though she grew up weaned on the music of classic jazz vocalist Dinah Washington and others, Schuur’s first recording was the country single “Dear Mommy and Daddy,” produced by Jimmy Wakely. “I was in the 10th grade and I met Jimmy when my father took me to an audition,” says Schuur. “Jimmy said he wanted to record me, so I flew with my sister to Burbank [California], stayed at his home and recorded the song that was written by his daughter Linda. It went to No. 3 on the country charts. So The Gathering completes a full circle for me. I figured, if Ray Charles could record a country album with the inflections of blues and jazz and be successful, why can’t I?”

Even though the country seed had been planted, Schuur gravitated to jazz later in high school. “I was listening to the music of Duke Ellington and George Shearing, which I cut my teeth on,” she says. “George, in particular, was definitely a piano mentor.” In 1975, she auditioned for the Tonight Show orchestra leader Doc Severinson, which led to her association with the band’s drummer Ed Shaughnessy, who enlisted her to sing a gospel suite with his band at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Still a teenager, she turned heads and opened ears of musicians performing there including Stan Getz, who invited her to perform at a talent showcase at the White House. That eventually led to her debut album, Deedles, on GRP, in 1984. She went on to record several albums for GRP, Atlantic and Concord before signing with Vanguard Records.

“I resisted the idea of doing a country album,” Schuur says. “But, finally, a year ago, after watching the Country Music Association’s awards show on TV, I felt the time was right to return to that music.” She notes that in addition to jazz pianists, she was also influenced by country pianist Floyd Cramer, who was renowned for his Nashville session work with many musical greats, including Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Don Gibson, Patsy Cline and countless others.

At the same time Schuur decided she wanted to venture into country, Vanguard Records had contacted her manager about signing the artist. That started the ball rolling. “The project was met with such enthusiasm,” she says. The core of the band for The Gathering consists of guitarist Steve Gibson, Wurlitzer player Mike Rojas, bassist Michael Rhodes and drummer Eddie Bayers, along with vibraphonist Eric Darken on seven of the 10 tracks. As for including the Wurlitzer and vibes on the album, Schuur says, “Producer Steve Buckingham thought these instruments would be cool to add, to give the band a ‘60s/’70s feel. And I love the vibes. George Shearing used the vibes, and, of course, I grew up listening to Lionel Hampton.” She pauses, and then adds: “And did you know that The Wizard of Oz has vibes in it? The vibes play in a down scale when Dorothy is waking from her dream at the end, repeating the line, ‘there’s no place like home.’”

The Gathering is a collection of hit country songs brought to life by Schuur’s unique jazz styling. “I get in my actress mode,” she says. “I was singing about heartbreak, and I needed to identify with that emotion. Of course, most of these songs I couldn’t have sung with total conviction when I was younger. But with life experience, you understand how it feels.” The album opens with the Hank Cochran song “Why Can’t He Be You,” a sad ballad delivered with heartfelt depth.

Schuur also delivers another Cochran tune, the slow, lyrical “Don’t Touch Me” sung with a lazy lope and featuring such lines as “Your heart is like a torch each time you touch me,” and “Don’t touch me if you don’t love me, sweetheart.” “Hank’s lyrics are so brilliant and so clever,” she says. “They’re right on the money. You really do have to have the emotion to carry them.” Krauss contributes backing vocals, of which Schuur says, “Alison’s voice is fabulous, and we’re a perfect match with harmonies.”

Two highlights that are imbued with jazzy flavoring include the Merle Haggard/Bonnie Owens song “Today I Started Loving You Again” (another hopeful song with Vince Gill on harmony vocals) and Willie Nelson’s gentle, easy-going “Healing Hands of Time” (with Carmella Ramsey on harmony vocals and Mark Knopfler adding the third guitar sound in the mix along with Gibson and Buckingham). As for the former, it features Larry Carlton, who opens the piece with George Benson-like voicings. “Larry starts off with this ‘On Broadway’ feel,” says Schuur. “Then later he follows me perfectly with my scatting part. It was so cool how we developed a call-and-response.”

The works of the late pioneering country music singer Tammy Wynette also figures prominently on two tunes: the sober “Til I Can Make It on My Own,” which she co-wrote and Wynette’s cover of the haunting yet hopeful “Til I Get It Right” (written by Red Lane and Larry Henley). “I had to put on the cloak of Tammy,” says Schuur. “I could hear the depth of feeling as she sang these songs. I never try to mimic, but believe me, I know Tammy was definitely channeling through me.”

Other tunes in the mix include Dallas Frazier’s heartsick “Beneath Still Waters” (Schuur credits Cramer’s piano style for her rendition), Roger Miller’s heartrending “When Two Worlds Collide” (“This is the perfect breakup song with brilliant lyrics,” says Schuur) and Kris Kristofferson’s gem “Nobody Wins”.

As for the Nelson number, contemporary jazz tenor saxophonist Kirk Whalum was brought in. “We ended up getting a Muscle Shoals type of vibe,” says Schurr. “Kirk really gets to stretch out on this number.”

With The Gathering, Diane Schuur feels the timing is right. “I needed another direction for my music,” she says. “This album was a natural fit for me. All the stars lined up, and nothing was forced. I waited a long time to do this kind of album. Those sessions in Nashville were a gathering of the spirits, and we got it right.”

Jack White Management
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Chronological Biography

December 10 Born in Tacoma, Washington USA
1960's: Performed locally at various small clubs singing and playing piano in the style of Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn, etc.
1973: Graduated from High School; Washington State School for the Blind
1970's: Continued to perform locally
1971: Released first single-Dear Mommy and Daddy/The Sun Is Shining Decca Records Jimmy Wakely Producer
1971: Released Single-Faded Love/Lonely Road Rainier Records
1972: Released single-Christmas Moon/Christmas Is The Laughter Of A Child Ripcord Records
1975: Performed with Ed Shaughnessy at the Monterey Jazz Festival
1979: Discovered by Stan Getz at the Monterey Jazz Festival
1981-82: Signed first recording contract and released first album, 'Pilot of My Destiny' Second Sun Productions
1982: Performed at the White House with Stan Getz for the Public Broadcasting System series "In Performance At The White House"
1983: Signed major recording contract with GRP Records
1984: Performed at the White House
1980's: Released a total of six records-GRP: "Deedles", "Schuur Thing", "Timeless", "Diane Schuur and the Count Basie Orchestra", "Talkn' Bout You", "Diane Schuur Collection".
1986-92: Appeared eleven times on "The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson"
1986: Performed at the 1986 Grammy Awards-Television
1987: Recorded song "Summertime" with Barry Manilow for his album "Swing Street"
1987: Appeared on the Barry Manilow Television Special-Performed the song "Summertime" with him
1987: Won Grammy Award for 'Best Female Vocalist-Jazz Category'; "Timeless"
1987: Performed on tour in Japan twice during year-Festival Productions
1988: Appeared on the Smother's Brothers Television Show
1988: Won Grammy Award for 'Best Female Vocalist-Jazz Category'; "Diane Schuur and the Count Basie Orchestra"
1988 Performed at Carnegie Hall- Tribute to Irving Berlin-TV
1988: Performed on tour in Japan with GRP Superlive Band
1989: Performed on tour in Japan-Hayashi International Promotions
1990: Signed new recording contract with GRP Records
1991: Performed in Montreal, Canada at the ‘Montreal Jazz Festival’
1991: Performed in Monterey, CA at the ‘Monterey Jazz Festival’
1991: Performed in Japan twice during year, the most recent at Keystone Korner-Tokyo, and The Bottom Line-Nagoya

1992: Nominated for Grammy Award for 'Best Female Vocalist-Traditional Pop'; "Pure Schuur"
1992: Performed on tour in Japan: The Blue Note-Osaka, The Blue Note-Fukuoka
1992: Made national television commercial for Nutri/System Inc.
1992: Released album "In Tribute"-GRP
1992: Continued to perform at various club and concert dates
1993: Released album "Love Songs"
1993: Performed at Carnegie Hall, ‘Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald’
1993: Appeared on the John & Leeza Show
1993: Performed on tour in Japan: The Blue Note in Tokyo and Fukuoka
1993: Nominated for Grammy Award for recording of “The Christmas Song” on GRP’s compilation album “Christmas Collection”
1994: Performed with the renowned 100-plus member Seattle Mens Chorus
1994: Nominated for Grammy Award for 'Best Traditional Vocal Recording'; "Love Songs"
1994: Released Album “Heart To Heart” with BB King-GRP
1994: Album “Heart To Heart” with BB King entered Billboard Magazines Jazz Chart at No. 1 on 5/20/94, a first for GRP Records
1994: Appeared on ‘The Tonight Show With Jay Leno’ with BB King
1994: Performed on tour in Europe: Sicily, Italy, Germany, Spain, Great Britain
1994: Performed in Puerto Rico
1994: Performed at Disney World, FL and was honored with a cement hand print ceremony at Disney-MGM studios as a visiting celebrity
1994: Returned on tour in Europe: England, Italy, Germany
1995: Met and had pictures taken with President Clinton and key congressional members in Washington DC RE: The Performance Rights Bill sponsored by the RIAA, and met with the President’s cat “Socks”
1995: Completed radio and television commercial with BB King for Northwest Airlines
1995: Performed on three week tour in Italy and South America
1995: Performed for the International Monetary Conference, a meeting of the top level executives of the world’s major financial institutions, held in Seattle, WA
1995: Performed a benefit for the Center For The Partially Sighted, Dwight Hemion guest of honor
1995: Performed in Helsinki, Finland at the Umo Jazz Festival
1995: Performed in New York at ‘A Tribute To Frank Foster’
1995: Performed in Los Angeles at the famous ‘House of Blues’
1996: Performed in Bel Air, CA at a private party for Norman Lear
1996: Performed in Bangkok, Thailand for HM King Bhumibol Adulyadel’s Golden Jubilee Concerts, celebrating the King’s 50 Years on the Throne
1996: Performed on tour in Italy
1996: Performed on tour in Brazil and Paraguay
1996: Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs award nominee ‘Major Female Jazz Engagement’
1996: Released album



The Gathering
1. Why Can’t He Be You
2. Healing Hands of Time (with Mark Knopfler & Kirk Whalum)
3. Beneath Still Waters
4. ‘Til I Can Make It On My Own
5. Don’t Touch Me (with Alison Krauss)
6. Today I Started Loving You Again (with Vince Gill & Larry Carlton)
7. ‘Til I Get It Right
8. Am I That Easy To Forget
9. When Two Worlds Collide
10. Nobody Wins

Lucy Sabini - Vanguard Records
Jena Vuylsteke

Jazz Legend Diane Schuur Signs With Vanguard Records
New Release The Gathering Available on June 7th
Features Guest Performances by Alison Krauss, Vince Gill,
Larry Carlton, Mark Knopfler and Kirk Whalum

February 17, 2011 – Santa Monica, CA. Two-time Grammy Award winner and one of contemporary jazz’s leading vocalists, Diane Schuur, has signed with Vanguard Records. She will be releasing her label debut, The Gathering, on June 7th. With a distinguished career that spans nearly three decades, Schuur’s new album is unique in both material and style, and features special guests Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Mark Knopfler, Larry Carlton and Kirk Whalum.

The Gathering is a collection of 10 classic country songs, mostly written during the golden era of the 1960s, and is the first time Schuur has featured this genre of music. On selections like Willie Nelson’s “Healing Hands of Time,” Roger Miller’s “When Two Worlds Collide,” Merle Haggard’s “Today I Started Loving You Again” and Tammy Wynette’s “Til I Can Make It on My Own,” Schuur’s great vocal versatility shines through.

The Gathering was recorded almost entirely in one day in early December in Nashville, TN. The singer has always wanted to record there and work with some of the city’s top musicians. Her new association with Vanguard allowed her to achieve that dream. “I knew when the label approached me it was time to do something I always wanted to do,” Schuur says, “and the way it came together seems like magic.” The album sessions started at 9 a.m. on December 6th, 2010, and by late afternoon all ten songs had been completed. Produced by Music City veteran Steve Buckingham, almost all the recording was done totally live, and most of the finished versions on the album are first takes. Other songs on The Gathering include “Why Can’t He Be You,” “Beneath Still Waters,” “Don’t Touch Me,” “’Til I Get It Right,” “Am I That Easy to Forget,” and “Nobody Wins.”

Vocalist/Pianist Diane ‘Deedles’ Schuur has built a stellar career by embracing and exploring nearly every corner of the 20th century American musical landscape. Her expressive and powerful vocal deliveries have placed her amongst jazz greats such as Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn. Schuur has performed in some of the most prestigious venues including New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and twice at the White House.

With an illustrious recording career that began in the 1980s, Schuur has received numerous awards including two Grammys: Timeless (1986) and Diane Schuur and the Count Basie Orchestra (1987). The recording with the Basie Orchestra spent an impressive 33 consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Jazz charts and received three Grammy nominations: Pure Schuur (1991 - which reached the No. 1 spot on the Contemporary Jazz charts), Love Songs (1993) and ‘The Christmas Song’ from the compilation album Christmas Collection (1993).
She has proved her staying power with a steady flow of releases including Heart To Heart – a collaborative recording with B.B. King that entered the Billboard Jazz charts at No. 1, Love Walked In, Swingin’ For Schuur with Maynard Ferguson, Midnight (produced by Barry Manilow), Schuur Fire with the Caribbean Jazz Project andSome Other Time, a tribute to her late mother.


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