Denise Donatelli

Born: May 26    Primary Instrument: Vocalist

Denise Donatelli

Denise Donatelli, a 2-time Grammy nominated and critically acclaimed Savant recording artist, has become one of today’s premiere jazz vocalists. Denise's GRAMMY nominations include her 2012 release SOUL SHADOWS for Best Jazz Vocal Album and her 2010 release When Lights are Low — which received two Grammy nominations, one for Best Jazz Vocal Album and another for Best Arrangement Accompanying a Vocalist for pianist and collaborator Geoffrey Keezer for his arrangement of “Don't Explain.”

Denise’s four recordings, Soul Shadows (Savant Records, September 2012), When Lights are Low (Savant Records 2010), What Lies Within (Savant Records 2008), and In the Company of Friends (Jazzed Media 2005), have consistently topped the National Jazz Week radio charts. Her Grammy Nominated recording When Lights are Low peaked at #2 and remained on the chart for 23 weeks. It resurfaced 28 weeks later where it remained for another 7 weeks. Soul Shadows is another collaboration with 2-time Grammy nominated pianist, composer, arranger, Geoffrey Keezer. KSJS- FM Radio Programmer, Dr. Brad Stone considers Soul Shadows to be “Simply her best work to date!”...
read more


55th Grammy Awards Nominee 53rd Grammy Awards nominee for "Best Jazz Vocal Album" L.A. Jazz Society Honoree for "2012 Jazz Vocalist of the Year" 61st Annual Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll "Rising Star Female Jazz Vocalist" list top ten.
”Denise Donatelli possesses that rare combination - sensuous tone, impeccable pitch and great jazz sensibility. She is truly an awesome jazz vocalist!” ~ Tom Scott

“There’s absolutely nothing shadowy but plenty sublime in Denise Donatelli’s latest recording, Soul Shadows.” ~ Nick Mondello, Jazz Times

“An impressive showcase for Donatelli’s virtuosity and sheer musicianship ... Donatelli slides between the role of singer and musician with the cool acrobatics of an athlete.“ ~ John McDonough, DOWNBEAT

“The Keezer-Donatelli collaboration proves to be a winning combination once again as the Grammy attention about When Lights are Low most certainly affirms. There are no low lights here, as Denise Donatelli's star continues to rise and, with this recording, shine brightly.” ~ Ed Blanco, ALL ABOUT JAZZ

“I raved about Denise Donatelli in Financial Mail (July, 2009). She now has a new CD out on Savant named When Lights are Low, which has garnered two Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Vocal Album and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) for Geoffrey Keezer's arrangement of “Don't Explain”... and soaring over whole thing is the supreme voice and phrasing of Donatelli.” ~ JAZZAHOLIC with Don Albert,

“The first quality that was apparent - was the rich timbre of Donatelli's voice, which has the clarity and flexibility to sing almost any imaginable genre from pop/blues to operatic aria. And her airy, floating-over-the-rhythm rendering revealed why she is a singer jazz musicians love to love.” 

“She's fearless as a singer and can sing anything she hears.” ~ Jim Wilke, ”Jazz After Hours” Public Radio International

“An impressive showcase for Donatelli's virtuosity and sheer musicianship ... Donatelli slides between the role of singer and musician with the cool acrobatics of an athlete. “ ~ John McDonough, DOWNBEAT

“There is a distinct Streisand-esque resonance about Donatelli, particularly on her creamy “Why Did I Choose You?” and a nicely underplayed “Don't Explain.” But there is also a subtle sandiness that underscores Donatelli's voice, making it more arresting. And her choices, both in terms of material and interpretation, tend to be bolder and more interesting.” ~ Christopher Louden, JAZZ TIMES

“Singer and standard are well matched on this breezily poignant track from Donatelli's “When Lights are Low.” ~ Elysa Gardner, USA TODAY PICK OF THE WEEK!

“Denise Donatelli triumphs!” ~ Jonathan Takiff, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER

“This woman is a find!” ~ Doug Ramsey, Rifftides/

Soul Shadows
Denise Donatelli
Savant Records

1. All Or Nothing At All
2. No Better
3. Another Day
4. A Promise
5. Soul Shadows
6. Ocean
7. Postcards and Messages
8. When I Looked Again
9. Ange
10. Too Late Now
Denise Donatelli, vocals
Geoffrey Keezer, piano
Peter Sprague, guitar
Carlitos del Puerto, bass
Alex Acuna, percussion
Walter Rodriguez, percussion
Nicholas Stoup, percussion
Peter Eldridge, vocal/duet
Tim Garland, soprano sax
Steve Huffsteter, trumpet
Susan Wulff, double bass
Giovanna Clayton, cello
Matt Funes, Alma Lisa Fernandez, violas
Sarah Thornblade, Songa Lee, violins
Yutaka Yokokura, background vocals

When Lights Are Low
Denise Donatelli
Savant Records

1. It s You or No One
2. Don t Explain
3. When Lights are Low
4. Big Lie, Small World
5. Why Did I Choose You?
6. I Wish I Were in Love Again
7. Kisses (Cantor da noite)
8. Forward, Like So
9. The Telephone Song
10. The Bed I Made
11. Enchantment (Firm Roots)
Denise Donatelli, vocals
Geoffrey Keezer, piano
Peter Sprague, guitar
Hamilton Price, bass
Jon Wikan, drums, percussion
Ingrid Jensen, flugelhorn
Ron Blake, tenor and soprano sax
Susan Wulff, double bass
Giovanna Clayton, cello
Roland Kato, viola
Alma Lisa Fernandez, viola
Matthew Duckles, viola
Julia Dollison, background vocals
Kerry Marsh, background vocals

What Lie Within

1. My Shining Hour
2. Sails
3. Crystal Silence
4 I Love It When You Dance That Way
5. We'll Be Together Again
6. Like An Old Song
7. Beloved (Daahoud)
8. Four Walls
9. Be Cool
10. Make This City Ours Tonight
11. This Lament
Geoffrey Keezer: piano/arranger
Hamilton Price: bass
Marvin "Smitty" Smith: drums
Peter Sprague: guitar
Bob Sheppard: reeds
Carl Saunders: trumpet
Giovanna Clayton: cello
Alex Acuna: percussion.

In the Company of Friends
Denise Donatelli
Jazzed Media

1. On Green Dolphin Street
2. The Thrill Is Gone
3. 'Round Midnight
4. You Don't Know What Love Is
5. A Sleepin 'Bee
6. Send In The Clowns
7. This Is New
8. If You Could See Me Now
9. Dream Dancing
10. A Roarin' Borin' Alice
11. When Summer Turns to Snow
Tom Garvin: piano/arranger
Tom Warrington: bass
Steve Houghton: drums
Peter Woodfored: guitar
Clay Jenkins: trumpet
Andy Martin: trombone
Bob Sheppard: saxes and flute
Tom Peterson: tenor sax
Brian Scanlon: flute
Brian Kilgore: percussion.

Disclaimer: All About Jazz is not responsible for the accuracy of the discographical data at the website(s) provided. If a link is no longer valid, please contact Thank you.

Please Sign Up or Log In to send your inquiry.

Events Calendar

Sorry, there are no Denise Donatelli events available at this time. Submit one now.

TIP: Reach multiple calendar destinations with a single post. Learn now here.

comments powered by Disqus
Rank: 1,054 Views: 11,060 Fans: 6

Weekly Giveaways

Ed Palermo

Ed Palermo
About | Enter

Matthew Shipp

Matthew Shipp
About | Enter

Matt Ridley

Matt Ridley
About | Enter

Tord Gustavsen

Tord Gustavsen
About | Enter

An innovative and rich resource For Jazz Musicians

The All About Jazz musician database grows daily
with the help of musicians, supportive professionals and advocates.

Musician? Plug in and promote yourself today.

Learn how