Born: April Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Diane Nalini’s new album, 'Kiss Me Like That,' is a collection of 13 songs celebrating humanity's fascination with the sky. From the title track's infectious rhythms, to ‘Cuando sale la luna’ - Diane’s sultry ode to the moon, her original compositions on this album are all influenced by the wonders of the sky and stars. Her six original songs are perfectly complemented by classic jazz standards chosen carefully for this project, like Stardust, Skylark, They All Laughed, as well as her intimate interpretations of folk & pop songs such as James Taylor's Sweet Baby James and Sting's Valparaiso.
Songs from Kiss Me Like That have already attracted considerable interest in the media, being previewed nationally on CBC Radio's The Sunday Edition, Fresh Air, As It Happens, Metro Morning and CBC Radio Two's documentary programme, Inside the music. It has also garnered praise and airplay on Radio-Canada's Espace Musique. Maclean’s Magazine, Canada's national news magazine, also did a full-page article on her recently.
Singer/songwriter Diane Nalini's previous album put a uniquely modern spin on the words of William Shakespeare. Her latest CD Songs of Sweet Fire is a collection of fifteen sonnets and songs from the plays set to her original jazz, funk, and blues music. It was very important to me to let the phrasing of the words dictate the style of music I wrote for each song. I decided to set only those songs which were in more modern sounding English, to highlight the timelessness of Shakespeare's words, says the singer of her compositions. Songs of Sweet Fire is Diane's third album.
In a review of Diane's recent performance at the Guelph River Run Center, the Kitchener-Waterloo Record wrote: A gifted arranger and vocalist... Nalini made an auspicious Guelph concert debut... the highlights were three passages from literature she set to jazz - Sigh No More from Much Ado About Nothing, and The Lover and His Lass from As You Like It, as well as Alfred Lord Tennyson's Cradle Song.
Diane started singing at the age of three. She was born in Montreal, Canada, and is of Belgian and Goan descent. She captures jazz at its most sophisticated and joyous level, writes Elle Magazine Canada.
In a recent review of Tales... My Mama Told Me, Irwin Block of the Montreal Gazette wrote: Diane Nalini has the voice, the phrasing, confidence, clarity and control to make a tune her own and turn it into a nuanced thing of beauty.
Her debut album After dusk was described by London's Time Out magazine as a gorgeous collection, sung with quiet enunciated power. Her artistry shines through on two wide- ranging albums, After Dusk and the newly released Tales... My Mama Told Me, writes Canada's Globe and Mail.
While breathing new life into jazz standards, she also performs her own compositions, as well as Brazilian songs and French chanson.
She has performed for President Bill Clinton, Sir Paul McCartney, the President of Malta, the Canadian High Commissioner to London, and former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke, and recently gave concerts at the London, Montreal and Malta Jazz festivals.
Diane was nominated for the Grand Prix de Jazz General Motors at the 2002 Montreal International Jazz Festival, and was one of two finalists for the UK's Young Jazz Vocalist of the Year awards for 2001.
In October 2005, she opened for legendary 3-time Grammy winning songwriter Jimmy Webb at Guelph's River Run Center. More recently, she had the pleasure to perform with the wonderful David Knopfler (founder of 'Dire Straits') for the North American launch of his new album Ship of Dreams.
Other highlights have included performances at the London Jazz Festival (2001), the Montreal International Jazz Festival (2002, 2001, 1994), the Celebrate Toronto Festival (2005), as well as Montreal’s 350th Anniversary Festival (1992). Her songs have received airplay in the UK (BBC Radio 3), as well as Denmark and Brazil. In Canada, her music has been heard coast- to-coast on the CBC programs 'Jazzbeat', 'After Hours', 'Disc Drive', and 'This Morning' with Shelagh Rogers. She has also been featured on Radio-Canada by radio personalities Dan Behrman, Stanley Péan, Dorothée Berryman and André Vigean, on the Espace Musique channel. Diane was interviewed several times on CBC Radio’s 'Morningside' by the late, great Peter Gzowski.
She has taught jazz singing and given jazz workshops at the University of Oxford, and conducted a songwriting workshop at the 3rd annual Millenium Scholarphip Think Again conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada. She was recently invited to chair a pannel discussion at the Guelph International Jazz Festival Colloquium (2005) on Improvisation: risks and responsibilities. Earlier in the summer, she was a guest presenter at a one-day conference on Art and democracy, hosted by Concordia University's Center for Continuing Education.
Diane studied Chinese watercolour painting and caligraphy for 10 years with the late Virginia Chang. She exhibited and sold paintings with the Montreal-based Ting Sung Group. For her new album, Songs Of Sweet Fire, she painted 16 original watercolour paintings inspired by the mood of the songs. They accompany Shakespeare's lyrics in a full-colour, deluxe 20 page booklet. I wanted to give something extra to all my wonderful, supportive fans. Something connected to the songs in a unique way.
She is also an accomplished dancer, having performed and studied classical ballet, jazz and modern dance for over 15 years. She was a soloist with Les Ballets de la jeunesse in her late teens. She also studied jazz ballet and modern dance for several years, and performed as a soloist in various shows by Montreal choreographers Sheila Lawrence and Claudine Bouchard. Her most recent performance combining dance and singing was as the female lead in GLA Productions’ staging of Fame - the musical, at the Old Fire Station Theatre in Oxford in 2000.
Diane went to England on a Rhodes Scholarship and obtained a doctorate from the University of Oxford. She has since returned to Canada and has taken up a faculty position at the University of Guelph, Ontario.
Awards:- Nominated, Grand Prix de Jazz, Montreal International Jazz Festival 2002 - Runner-up, Young jazz vocalist of the year award, UK, 2001
'After dusk' is a gorgeous collection of standards sung with quiet, enunciated power. - Time Out Magazine, London, UK
Seriously gifted. Diane Nalini is spoilt for talent. - The Sunday Times, South Africa
Rendering songbook standards as well as French chanson, Brazilian classics, her own compositions, and settings of poems by Shakespeare and Tennyson, Nalini consistently displays bell-clear tone, meticulous enunciation, playfulness and subtle swing. - Ian McGillis, The Globe and Mail, Canada
I was completely overwhelmed by the eloquence and limpidity of her voice. Whether interpreting American Jazz songbook giants, the continental chanson tradition, Brazilian bossa nova (new wave) music, or her original compositions, a common trait was evident: she captivates her audiences. - Charles Mifsud, The Sunday Times, Malta
Mellifluous contralto, emotively nuanced, rhythmically pliable, seductively melodic, phrases like back in the day (Billie, Ella, and Carmen). Chile could sang. - Tom Terrell, All About Jazz
Songs of Sweet Fire
Tracks: 1. The Cuckoo Song, 2. Sigh no more, 3. For love of you, 4. Rain every day, 5. Desi's blues, 6. Mistress Mine, 7. The Fabulous Minstrel, 8. Take those lips away, 9. The lover and his lass, 10. The beauty of your eyes, 11. Be merry, 12. She loves another, 13. Goodbye to the devil, 14. Till the world goes round, 15. Under the blossom.
Personnel: Diane Nalini - vocals; Dany Roy - saxophones; Vanessa Rodrigues - Hammond B3 organ; Mike Rud - guitar; Mike Berard - guitars; Tim Nolan - bass; Camil Belisle - drums; Jim Doxas - percussion.
Tales... My Mama told me
Earthglow Records (Canada); 33 Jazz (UK)
Tracks: 1. Blues in the night, 2. Yellow bird, 3. Sometime ago, 4. La vie en rose, 5. While you're sleeping, 6. Noturna, 7. Mickey, 8. Moose the Mooch, 9. Les feuilles mortes, 10. Cheek to cheek, 11. Corcovado, 12. Cradle Song, 13. Come away, 14. Lorelei
Personnel: Diane Nalini - vocals; Steve Kaldestad - saxophone; Martin Pickett - piano; Tim Nolan - bass; Steve Brown - drums.
Tracks: 1. Stars fell on Alabama, 2. My funny valentine, 3. Quand elle rit aux éclats, 4. After dusk, 5. Carolina, 6. La mer, 7. The portrait on the wall, 8. La maison sous les arbres, 9. How long has this been going on, 10. Every time we say goodbye.
Personnel: Diane Nalini - vocals; Mike Rud - guitar; Dave Watts - bass.
Clips from all albums can be heard at: http://www.dianenalini.com/music.html
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