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Release: Jan. 10, 2003

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Jazz diva Dianne Reeves, a two-time Grammy Award winner and five-time nominee, will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, in Hancher Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus.

Female Singer of the Year in the 2001 Jazz Journalists Awards, Reeves also won the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance 2001 for “In the Moment,” and followed that up in 2002 with a Grammy for “The Calling,” her tribute to her idol, Sarah Vaughan.

With the passing in recent years of Vaughan and several other legendary female vocalists, some jazz fans were left wondering if anyone of their caliber could replace them.

Rex Reed, writing in the New York Observer, claimed emphatically that he has the answer: “One question I am always asked: Who is the next Billie, Sarah, Ella, Carmen or Lena? I can now answer in two words: Dianne Reeves. She sings and swings like all of them put together. Sultry, savvy, unique, adventurous, with a range that flies off the Richter, she’s the hottest thing in jazz.”

The critic of the San Francisco Chronicle explained the formula that makes Reeves special, whether delivering a warm and joyous rendition of an old standard or scat singing: “Reeves is, in every sense, a jazz musician. Her voice -- among the most fabulous around -- is her instrument, and she improvises both in lyric and melodic delivery on every selection. Combining an amazing range and rich, full contralto with what old hipsters called ‘good ears,’ Reeves is capable of presenting as exciting and imaginative a jazz performance as any other great instrumentalist.”

Reeves’ discography now includes more than a dozen albums, ranging from small-group jazz to lavish productions with large ensembles. Her collaborators have included some of the biggest and busiest names in music, including Terrence Blanchard, George Duke, Clark Terry, Billy Childs, Russell Malone, Kenny Garrett, Brian Blade, Kevin Eubanks, Terri Lynne Carrington, Phil Woods, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Toots Thielemans, Joshua Redman, Jacky Terrason, Airto Moreira, Bobby Hutcherson, Charnett Moffett, Freddy Hubbard, Stanley Clarke, Tony Williams and Herbie Hancock.

Reeves, who was born in Detroit in 1956, learned about the tough side of life early on. Her father died of cancer when she was two, and after her family moved to Denver she was part of the first generation of children bused for racial balance.

She says of her experiences busing into hostile white neighborhoods: “It dawned on me that this was truly ignorance -- ignorance in not wanting to understand one another.” At the age of 13 she joined with other students of all races in attempts to educate their elders -- including singing to demonstrate how music cuts across racial barriers.

Bringing together musical influences ranging from Stevie Wonder and the O’Jays to Sarah Vaughan, she developed a voice and style that came to the attention of trumpeter Clark Terry, who invited her to sing with his all-star groups, which featured established veterans including Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis and Tommy Flanagan. Her development even included Latin fusion and experimental jazz before she launched her award-winning solo recording career.

In recent years, in addition to her solo projects, she has been a guest with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra in its Duke Ellington projects, presented a concert at the White House and was featured with the Boston Pops and the PBS “Great Performances” series.

Jazz vocalist Joe Williams told Down Beat magazine, “I think Dianne’s the legitimate extension of all of the good things that have gone on before, from Ethel Waters to Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah and Carmen. . . . She is earth mother, lover, she is the hurt child, she manages to get inside each one of those things.”

The corporate sponsor of the Dianne Reeves concert is the Iowa House Hotel, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets for the Dianne Reeves concert are $28, $26 and $23 ($22.40 and $10 for UI students; $22.40, $20.80 and $18.40 for senior citizens; and half price for audience members 17 and younger) from the Hancher box office.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher’s website:< >.

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail: <>.

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