Primary Instrument: Vocal
Jazz Vocalist DONNA DEUSSEN is a California native, but spent much of her childhood in rural New Hampshire. She began taking piano lessons at age 7, and began taking her love of singing seriously in high school, where she was admitted to the All-New England Choir both her junior and senior years. She attended and graduated magna cum laude in 1989 from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, with a degree in songwriting.
After college, she moved to Los Angeles, and began performing, writing, and recording all styles of contemporary music, including pop, R&B, country, rock, folk, and, of course, jazz.
Donna has performed at a wide variety of venues in the Southern California area, including: Holly Street Bar & Grill, Spazio Restaurant, Millenium Biltmore Hotel, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Auditorium, The Palace, The Cinegrill, Lunaria’s, The Jazz Bakery, Cal Tech Summer Jazz Series, Monteleone’s, Sportsman’s Lodge, The Other Side, L.A. Cabaret, The Money Tree, The Gardenia Room, Portofino on Pine, Luna Park, Fox & Hound, and many more.
In Arizona, she has performed at most of the major venues in the city, including the Phoenician Hotel, the Ritz Carlton Hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel, and the Rio Verde Country Club, to name just a few. She also recently headlined at Johnny’s Uptown Supper Club.
In April 2003, Donna’s long-awaited debut jazz CD, “High Wire” was released. It reflects her command of a vast range of styles, from samba to the blues. It showcases some of LA's best musicians: Mark Massey on keyboards, Aldo Bentivegna on drums, Anders Swanson on bass, and Eric Marienthal on saxaphone. “High Wire” features all-original arrangements by Donna and Mark Massey, including a “Weather Report” inspired version of “Nature Boy” and a jazz rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “River.” The CD has been garnering favorable reviews, and is getting airplay on many jazz radio stations, including KKJZ Long Beach, KCLU Thousand Oaks, KBEM Minneapolis, WAER Syracuse, WICN Worchester MA, SkyJazz Internet Radio, CFRC Radio Ontario Canada, WTJU Charlottesville VA, WPKN Bridgeport CT, and Radio LaGuagua Argentina! “High Wire” is available online at www.cdbaby.com/deussen.
Donna has performed and recorded with the top studio musicians in L.A., including those who have worked with/toured with Chick Corea, Sarah Vaughan, Poncho Sanchez, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Tierney Sutton, Jack Jones, Tom Jones, Melissa Manchester, Jean-Luc Ponty, the Righteous Brothers, the Coasters, the Platters, The Crystals, The Shirelles, Englebert Humperdinck, and many many more.
Donna has recently relocated to Phoenix, Arizona, but is still performing in the Southern California area. For booking or further information, please contact email@example.com or visit her website at www.donnadeussen.com
Donna Deussen ... is a talented singer with an attractive voice... [she] excels on such material as Chick Corea's High Wire and Joni Mitchell's River, singing lyrics with sensitivity and honest feeling... High Wire will be enjoyed by fans of warm jazz-inspired vocals. Scott Yanow, L.A. Jazz Scene
“.. [An] exquisite vocal jazz album… spirited and sexy… the CD presents the work of such greats as Lerner and Loewe, Irving Berlin… there are also some surprises present: a sultry, sensuous treatment of Joni Mitchell’s “River”… Mention must be made of her tight backing band, with special guest Eric Marienthal on sax … the sound quality is wonderful!” - Lucky Clark, N.H. Northern Light News
“Two Thumbs WAYYY Up! This is easily one of the most enjoyable CD's I've heard all year...I hear a lot and don't get the urge to write about many, but I just have to spread the word on this one. Donna gets it ALL exactly right; her pitch, rhythm, and most importantly her feel for these songs is right on target as she sings in a variety of styles. Her voice is always pleasing, and she gets vocally creative without wandering into diva territory. Her backing trio is powerfully subtle, lending support and flexing their own muscles while staying true to the composition. Great production (also by Ms. Deussen) makes a perfect blending of all the elements. Highlights? Every track! I'll be spinning this one a LOT, and recommend it very highly.” - Bob Muller, Cdbaby.com
“The track (‘River’) sounds lovely. Donna’s voice is luminous - love the clear, open tone and graceful phrasing… excellent choice for a jazz cover… superb backing players who bring a fresh vibe to the song. The track sounds radio ready.” - Taxi A&R Review
“Recently I had the privilege to listen to the debut album from jazz singer Donna Deussen. …a truly enjoyable and well rounded vocal jazz album….Blues In The Night shows that Donna can sing the blues as well as jazz standards. Donna Deussen has a wonderful voice and she assembled a group of very talented musicians to complement her singing. “ - Bruce Von Stiers, BVSReview
“…A voice with a lot of passion and depth, [with an] understanding how to inhabit (versus inhibit) a song and its lyrics. I was happy with Blues in the Night a song that most contemporary singers wouldn't touch. Donna has an edge to her sound that I didn't expect. Bravo! …And what a great turn on Show Me” … very sensual.” - Dave Leonnig, Jazzspot.com
[regarding Donna Deussen’s cover of “River“]: “Another excellent jazz version, besides her stunning vocal, the track features lovely and creative piano accompaniment and a wonderful acoustic bass anchoring the rhythm. Sweet.” - JMDL Digest
“…[the album starts] with a fine up tempo version of 'One Note Samba', and anyone will tell you who has sung the vocal version, it is a feat on its own to get all the lyrics out in the racing tempo. Eric Marienthal guests in the bridge here with a free flowing exchange which follows on from some excellent piano work from Mark Massey. Donna sings a Latin rendition of 'Old Devil Moon' which is original …subtle vocal nuances and elegant phrasing . The album's highlight is 'Never Will I Marry' when she shows her spontaneous energy and ability for dramatizing the lyrics in this wonderful jazz classic which again features some tight piano trio accompaniment. [And} 'Nature Boy' shows her creativity in an arrangement which oozes class throughout.” - Wes Gillespie, EuroClubdeJazz.com
“The CD is wonderful! Talk about singing with conviction... Love the arrangements on Nature Boy and Sugar. .. But, mostly I love the way Donna SINGS…” -Julie Kelly, jazz vocalist, Los Angeles, CA
“I've listened to the CD several times and enjoyed it. Very ambitious. Nature Boy is really in the groove, vocally and expression-wise…. loose yet intense… What we all aspire to…” -Ken Okuno, jazz guitarist, Pasadena, CA
“The CD is fantastic! Donna’s voice is as pure and clear and strong as sparkling crystal shooting rays all over the sky! -Kelley Foster Productions, Los Angeles, CA
1 One Note Samba
2 High Wire
4 Blues in the Night
5 Old Devil Moon
7 Never Will I Marry
9 Blue Skies
10 Show Me
11 Nature Boy
12 With Every Breath I Take
Mark Massey, keyboards
Anders Swanson, bass
Aldo Bentivegna, drums
Special guest ERIC MARIENTHAL on sax on tracks 1 and 4.
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Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.
10+ years experience teaching private lessons for pop/jazz/r&b/rock/country/musical theater/jazz styles. Available for beginners thru advanced, ages 10 and up. Learn proper vocal technique to make your voice the best it can be!