Born: December 10, 1953 Primary Instrument: Vocal
Diane Schuur, who has often been on the periphery of jazz, has the potential to be an important jazz singer although she still includes a large dose of pop tunes in her repertoire. Early in her career she had the tendency to screech in her upper register, but with maturity that flaw has largely disappeared and she has become a very impressive singer. Blinded at birth due to a hospital accident, Schuur (who would later be nicknamed Deedles) imitated singers as a child.
She had her first gig at a Holiday Inn when just ten and originally sang country music. The turning point in her career occurred when she sang Amazing Grace at the 1979 Monterey Jazz Festival, greatly impressing Stan Getz. After Getz featured her singing at a televised concert from the White House in 1982, Schuur was signed to GRP and began recording regularly. Although her 1987 collaboration with the Count Basie Orchestra was a high point, Diane Schuur's recordings tend to be a mixed success from the jazz standpoint.