Born: June 11 Primary Instrument: Vocal
A founding member of MANHATTAN TRANSFER, the original jazz vocal group, Ms. Dickins continues to enchant audiences throughout the world. She has performed and recorded with Leonard Cohen, Bette Midler, James Taylor, The Talking Heads, James Brown, Barry Manilow, Jaco Pastorius and Ashford & Simpson, to name but a few.
NICE GIRLS is Erin Dickins’ debut solo album, recently released on Champagne Records. Anchored by the single and video Nice Girls Don’t Stay for Breakfast �a remake of 1950’s starlet Julie London’s hit �Dickins’ album was carefully crafted over a two-year period by a group of renowned musicians including composer Jesse Frederick (music for Flamingo Kid, Full House, Perfect Strangers, Step By Step, Family Matters), pianist/arranger Rob Mounsey (Kurt Elling, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Deborah Cox) and bassist David Finck (Harry Connick Jr., Steve Kuhn, Liza Minelli, Rod Stewart, Sir Andre Previn).
This collection of beautifully recorded and performed gems - from cool sultry ballads to swinging arrangements, is a perfect musical reflection to Dickins’ engaging personality.
Dickins comes from an artistic family. Her mother, who traded photo- portraits to a local opera singer in return for singing lessons for nine- year-old Erin, was formerly a dancer with the Rockettes in New York. Erin’s father was a passionate amateur jazz pianist who taught Erin to sing and play, sharing with her his deep love of music.
Dickins considers it her honor and responsibility to spread the joy that she experiences every time she performs. Music is an instrument of transformation, and Dickins is transformed when singing. She believes that as a musician she has been given a unique gift. “When I perform I give 200 percent. If I can be an instrument for joy, just for one instant, then I have done what is asked of me. That’s how you heal the planet, right? One song, one person, one joyful encounter at a time - it’s nice work if you can get it.”
Seeing Dickins perform with her live band is an experience you do not want to miss. Riding off of the success of her recent launch at Avalon Theatre in Easton, MD, Dickins will be performing several spot dates throughout the U.S in 2011 and is booking international dates in China and Europe for 2012.
She is currently in the early stages of writing and pre- production for the follow-up to Nice Girls with Frederick.
In the meantime, she continues to devote her time working with children at SummerFame, a performing arts summer program she founded in 2000, along with her other charitable efforts.
Copyright © Erin Dickins
Awards:Jan 2012 - American Jazz Vocalist Erin Dickins - a double award winner at CoffeeTalk Jazz Radio 2011 Awards. Ms. Dickins garnered the “Best Jazz Vocalist” award as well as “Best Video” for Nice Girls.
February 2012 - MARYLAND STATE ARTS COUNCIL ANNOUNCES 2012 INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS AWARD RECIPIENTS - Baltimore, MD (February 21, 2012) ... The Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), an agency of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, has recognized vocalist Erin Dickins from Talbot County for creating work of exceptional quality. Ms. Dickins has been awarded the 2012 Individual Artist Award for Non Classical Music Solo Performance for her CD, Nice Girls. State awards grants in playwriting, crafts, photography, music composition, and music performance The IAA Program reviews 18 artistic disciplines, which are separated into 3 competition groups that are awarded on a triennial basis. 2012 award categories include playwriting, crafts, photography, non-classical music composition, and non-classical music solo performance. Approximately one-third of the awards were made in the photography category, which also received the most submissions this year. A celebration in honor of Maryland's 2012 Individual Artist Awardees will be held in May.
“I have known Erin since 1969, and I've always thought she was a great singer… because she sings from her heart, and those kind of singers are my favorites.”
Tim Hauser - co-founder of Manhattan Transfer, USA
“ …Dickins is astute on the one hand, yet sensitive and sensual on the other. Producing lyrical and enthralling renditions of famous jazz tunes such as Billie Holiday’s I Must Have That Man, or Julie London’s Nice Girls Don’t Stay For Breakfast, a delight for the listening ear. Her live take of Frank Loesser’s Adeleide’s Lament is hilarious. Manhattan Transfer’s Gene Pistilli and producer Jesse Frederick - Dickins’ go-to composers - have created original tunes that allow her to redefine the boundaries of vocal jazz…”
Katherine Bernard, NPR, USA Co-Host “2 Boomer Babes Radio Hour
“ …The [CD] production by Jesse Frederick is masterful: clean, dynamic and refreshing. He simply surrounds that great voice with texture, knowing when to allow the musicians to dance with it, and when to stay out of the way. And Erin floats through it all like a cool breeze on a summer day. Clearly there is a smile in her voice and her vocal performance is technically superb while remaining effortless and laid back. She has grown immensely as an artist, all the while honoring her roots and enjoying the fun I first heard in her so long ago.”
Mike Jahn - award winning novelist and author of Jim Morrison and the Doors: An Unauthorized Book. Jahn served as rock reviewer for the New York Times 1968-1973.
“Break out the martinis and the silver cocktail shaker for song stylist Erin Dickins who thrilled the packed house at the art deco Avalon Theatre in Easton with songs from her newest CD, ‘Nice Girls.’ Dickins sophisticated scat, swing and ballads remind the listener that she was one of the founding members of Manhattan Transfer. With a nine-piece backup band that has more industry awards than an evening’s worth of Grammy’s, Dickins tore the place up, tossing her signature pearls to the crowd. She has performed with the likes of Leonard Cohen, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Bette Midler, James Brown, Randy Neuman, Roberta Flack, Peabo Bryson, Barry Manilow, Dr. John, Paul Butterfield and Levon Helm.”
Jordan Wright, Reviewer for The Washington Examiner The Washingtonian Magazine, USA
Erin, you swing your S off and your intonation is impeccable.”
Francois Moutin � Jazz Bassist, Moutin Reunion, France/USA
Erin Dickins has been one of my favorite singers since her early days as a founding member of The Manhattan Transfer... Her newest CD, Nice Girls... is a real treat! It' s a relaxed, intoxicating, joyful listening trip, filled with great tunes (some real treasures, as well as some nearly forgotten goodies) innovative arrangements, the best musicians, and... of course... that VOICE! Erin has never sounded better (and that' s really saying something)... her magnetic charm reaches out and seduces the listener!
John Lissauer - Arranger / Producer / Composer - Al Jarreau, Leonard Cohen, Whitney Houston, Michael Bolton, David Sanborn, The Last Godfather, Watchmen, Seven
Erin . . . radiates such pure delight in what she's doing, you expect her to take off and soar - which she does vocally, tasting a lyric with delicacy that flies smoothly into passionate strength by the end of the sentence and back again.
Michael Driscoll � The Eastern Shore Examiner, USA ¬¬
“If Tony Bennett and Sarah Vaughan had a child, she'd sound like this. Excellent song selections, wonderful interpretations ... and then there's that voice. This is an artist who's worth your attention and support.”
Jen Trachtman, Amazon.com, USA
“Great album and such a great mix of tunes - standards like “Can't We Be Friends” are among my favorites. The band on the CD is just perfect and the songs � Woo Hoo!”
Lance Liddle, Reviewer BeBop Spoken Here, United Kingdom
“Dickins is a delight. At times playful, at times sensuous, she's always tingling, fresh, alive, and most importantly, authentic - she sings as though she's reaching out to you personally.”
David Mercier, Author, USA
“Erin Dickins elevates the concert going experience to a new high in all of her technique. Whether singing, addressing the audience, or merely her smile that could light Times Square, she has an awesome stage presence that belongs on a national audience forum. Never so professional it's snooty, never too shy or laid back.”
Aaron “Smokey” Arnold Austin Music Review, USA
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Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students
Have spent many years as director of a childrens' summer program in the performing arts SummerFame teaches children grades 3-12 singing, dancing, acting and related theatre crafts.. My clinics are for children ages 12-16 or for Jazz Vocal students at the college level. I teach finding your joy in music - how to sing like a musician, learning to let go and the basics of the Alexander Technique.