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Vocalist Dianne Reeves, recognized as one of the most important jazz singers of her generation, will present the stylish craft of Sarah Vaughan with a performance Thursday, Oct. 11, at the Williams Center for the Arts.

Tickets cost $20 and are in very limited supply. Inquire about availability by calling the box office at 610-330-5009.

The concert will feature the rich artistic legacy of Vaughan, elegantly shaped in Reeves’ most recent recording, Celebrating Sarah Vaughan. Her tribute to Vaughan in concert has drawn positive reviews from sources like the San Francisco Chronicle: “Reeves celebrated her idol, Vaughn, with a magnificent, often bombastic…performance… Combining an amazing range and a 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 also has been praised by the Los Angeles Times as a “Maya Angelou-type storyteller in song” and lauded by Billboard as a musical poet, “caressing every phrase with palpable warmth and joy.” “Her three-plus, pellucid octaves, diva-like delivery and intimate sense of a song have long made her one of the most compelling vocalists in jazz,” notes the Seattle Times. “She roams and explores, growls and catches at notes and phrasings,” says People Magazine. “It is this audacity that makes Reeves’ voice an awesome instrument.”

Among the most versatile and artistically inquisitive of artists, Reeves moves gracefully from the songs of Joni Mitchell, Stephen Sondheim, and Leonard Cohen to the jazz tradition of Duke Ellington, Carmen McRae, and Ella Fitzgerald. Her singing draws upon a variety of influences: Africa, Brazil, and the Caribbean; gospel and rhythm and blues; and classic and contemporary pop.

Reeves has earned three Grammy nominations and has ten albums to her credit. In her signature recordings, The Grand Encounter and Rivers, Reeves collaborated with such jazz masters as Kenny Barron, James Moody, Phil Woods, Clark Terry, and Kenny Garrett. “Whenever I’m with Dianne, it’s special,” says Moody. “I dig her all the time.” Reeves was showcased in Wynton Marsalis’s Duke Ellington tribute concerts at Lincoln Center, the White House, and through a heralded national tour.

Reeves spends much of her life on the road. “I really believe in touring,” she says. “It’s the only way you can get close to your audience.”

The 2001-2002 Performance Series at Lafayette is supported in part by gifts from members of Friends of the Williams Center for the Arts, and by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, and New England Foundation for the Arts.

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