Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Deborah's musical influence began early in life, listening to the likes of Stan Getz, Larry Novak, Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans with her father, Chicago based jazz pianist and upright bass player, Bill Connors. Her mother Diane would break out her acoustic guitar and encourage her to sing. Those family jam sessions would send her down a lifelong path of writing, producing, performing and more. Deborah, a veteran of the Chicago music scene, writing and producing music since she was a teen, worked at the legendary Chicago Trax Recording Studios for several years with talents such as R Kelly, Ministry's, Al Jorgenson, George Harrison, Liz Phair, Trent Reznor, as well as some of the great Chicago House artists such as Farley Jackmaster Funk and Joe Smooth. During this time Deborah honed her talents with these superstars while recording two of her own albums, doing commercials and producing her own dance music album, Midnight Affair. She is currently one of the top vocal coaches in Chicago as well. Over the last few years she began writing and co-producing her own music with writer/producer, Michael Powell in Chicago, and then began writing with Nate Harasim, who was in the midst of creating his Love's Taken Over album, and was in need of a vocalist with a very unique sound to add to one of his tracks, Feel the Love. The chemistry was obvious! NuGroove Records President, David Chackler asked the two of them to start working on a album for release on the label. This was the beginning of the new De'Nate' sound.
Awards:Nominee for International Group of the Year, 2008-2009 Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards
With Deborah Connor's uniquely intricate vocal stylings, the incredibly haunting rhythms of keyboardist Nate Harasim and the sophisticated chops of the newest member, saxophonist Darren Rahn, De'Nate' is a new sound for a whole new generation of contemporary jazz, pop and urban music. The Urban Music Scene
The combination of Nate’s inspired keyboard work and Deborah’s sensual vocals is a total winner. Add in the World-class support work from the likes of sax man, Darren Rahn, guitarist Michael Powell and bassist Mel Brown, and you’ve got yourself the makings of a smash hit album. It’s a fresh, invigorating potpourri of Smooth Jazz, R&B, soul and pop. Highly recommended! Smoothjazz.com
April 16, 2009 - This is a truly atypical, exceptional, and superior collaboration with such a special inner touch and reach that it almost defies adequate description.
De’Nate’ is the magnificent brainchild of producer/artist Nate Harasim and standout vocalist Deborah Connors, at the recommendation of nuGroove Records president, David Chackler, who saw “something” potentially explosive in such a union. Boy, was he ever right!
Reminisce, so complete a project embracing presence, depth, beauty, and melody (oh, the melodies). Carefully and sweetly interweaving R&B and smooth grooves, at times reminding one of Hardcastle, at times reminding one of Sade, but always reminding one of just why smooth jazz is so full, multi-faceted, and irresistibly appealing. Each tune here stands on its own yet is linked by perfection to the next, as they all form a complete and magical chain of superb sound. Ronald Jackson - www.smoothjazz.now.com
On their debut album, the duo of Nate Harasim (keyboards, producer) and sensual Chicago based vocalist Deborah Connors have achieved something extraordinary: creating the same sort of full-scale, sensual funk vibe and urban jazzy jam potential as Incognito but without the massive ensemble. The results rise impressively somewhere between the aforementioned Incognito and the cool, female vocalist-kissed vibe that Paul Hardcastle creates on his Jazzmasters discs. The opening title track sets the tone with its cool, soulful retro-soul atmosphere behind Connors' passionate voice and Harasim's swirl of keyboard dreaminess and piano grace. Reminisce is a perfect late-night soundtrack that covers the chillin' side of the urban jazz landscape. Jonathan Widran - All Music Guide
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