Born: December 21, 1924 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Rita Reys - since 1960 officially Europe's First Lady of Jazz- has been a professional performer for more than six decades. Even today, this jazz diva still knows how to charm audiences with her famously unique timing, legendary swing and fabulous performance.
HER EARLY YEARS Maria Everdina Reys was born on 21 December 1924 in Rotterdam, in an artistic family: her father was a violin player and conductor, her mother a dancer. At home, there was virtually no jazz music. Her parents preferred light classical music instead, so Rita grew up with the sounds of Tchaikovsky and Chopin. But the singing was already in her blood: As a teenager, Rita entered many local talent competitions and won them all....
Awards:Edisons (the Dutch equivalent of the Grammy®) 1961 - for Marriage in Modern Jazz (Philips) 1969 - for Rita Reys Today (Philips) 1971 - for Rita Reys Sings Burt Bacharach (CBS) 1972 - for Rita Reys Sings Michel Legrand (CBS) 1988 - for Two For Tea (ft. Louis van Dijk) 2006 - Edison Oeuvre Award ￼ Rhyhtme Poll 1954 - Rhythme Poll: Best Dutch jazz singer 1956 - Rhythme Poll: Best Dutch jazz singer 1957 - Rhythme Poll: Best Dutch jazz singer 1958 - Rhythme Poll: Best Dutch jazz singer 1959 - Rhythme Poll: Best Dutch jazz singer 1960 - Rhythme Poll: Best Dutch jazz singer Jazzwereld Poll 1966 - Best Dutch singer 1967 - Best Dutch singer ￼Golden Records 1971 - for Rita Reys Sings Burt Bacharach (CBS) 1972 - for Rita Reys Sings Michel Legrand (CBS) 1992 - for The American Songbook, Volume I (Masters Music) 1992 - for The American Songbook, Volume II (Masters Music) Other important awards: 1958 - Playboy Jazz Poll (USA), nomination for best jazz singer 1960 - Rita Reys & Trio Pim Jacobs win the jazz festival of Antibes/Juan-les-Pins 1963 - Award for best vocalist on the Prague Jazz Festival 1980 - Citizen of Honour of New Orleans 1981 - Knight in de Order of Oranje Nassau 1991 - Bird Award (the award of the North Sea Jazz Festival) 1991 - Certificate of Appreciation for her promotion of the American Song Book (presented by the American ambassador in the Netherlands)
“I love what I heard on the record. So happy to hear you again” - Burt Bacharach (1971)
“From now on, everytime I will write a song, I will think of the great Rita Reys, who sings the love songs with such love, that I really love her, and you will too.” - Michel Legrand (1972)
“Rita Reys makes a glorious come back” - Rotterdams Dagblad (1998)
“Rita Reys: Brilliant timing” - Trouw (2004)
With no doubt the greatest jazz singer our country has brought forth - Jury Edison Oeuvre Award (2006)