Whether accompanying herself at the piano, fronting a trio, big band or symphony, Dee Daniels’ musical career is as varied as her four-octave vocal range is thrilling. She is a unique talent who transcends musical borders when she brings her jazz styling, infused with gospel and blues flavoring, to the stage. One critic says, “Daniels is effortless and fluid in reaches that defy other singers. Her voice is so enchanting that the words she sings almost don’t matter. She embodies the music, the sound becomes flesh.”
Though Dee has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art Education, and taught high school art for a year in Seattle, she quickly realized that her true calling was music. Her vocal style was born in her stepfather’s church choir in Oakland, California, refined through the R&B era, polished during a five-year stay in The Netherlands and Belgium from 1982 to 1987, and brought to full fruition upon her return to North America. During those years to the present, she has performed and/or recorded with many ‘Legends of Jazz’ including Benny Green, Houston Person, John Clayton, Russell Malone, Wycliffe Gordon, Cyrus Chestnut, Clark Terry, Ken Peplowski, Kenny Barron, Bill Mays, Jeff Clayton, Benny Golson, Grady Tate, Toots Thielemans, Jeff Hamilton, Monty Alexander, Steve Wilson, Marvin Stamm, Lewis Nash, Kenny Washington, Norman Simmons, Ben Riley, Dennis MacKrel, Steve Davis, Martin Wind, Bucky Pizzarelli, Helen Sung, Christian McBride, David Young – to mention a few.
Career highlights include: The 2020 Legacy Award presented by the National Congress of Black Women of Canada; 2020 Spiritual Artist of the Year: Western Canadian Music Awards; Global Music Awards (Silver): Album, Contemporary Gospel and Female Vocalist for The Promise CD; Artist in Residence at the Conservatory of Music, University of the Pacific (CA) 2019 to the present; Adjunct Professor Vocal Jazz Masters Program, Aaron Copeland School of Music, Queens College (NY) 2013 – 2014; Artistic Director of the DeMiero Jazz Festival – a festival dedicated to Jazz vocals only (WA) 2011 – 2017; nomination for the Atlanta Theater’s 2010 Suzi Bass Award; the 2009 receipt of an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Fine Arts and 2008 President’s Award, both from Capilano University; 2003 recipient of the prestigious Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and induction into the University of Montana’s School of Fine Arts Hall of Honor as well as a 1997 University of Montana Distinguished Alumni Award; a 2002 inductee into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame with a plaque installed on Vancouver’s Granville Street Walk of Fame; and a command performance for the King and Queen of Belgium’s 25th Wedding Anniversary.
Dee’s international career includes performances throughout the United States and Canada, Egypt, India, twelve African countries, Australia, South America, Russia, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Japan, and many countries within Western and Eastern Europe. With the creation of her Symphony Pops programs, Unforgettable: 100 Years of Nat and Natalie Cole, Great Ladies of Swing, Red, Hot and Blues, The Soul of Ray: The Music of Ray Charles, The Great American Songbook, and A Night Out With the Boys, Dee has enjoyed sharing stages with symphony orchestras across the USA and Canada. She has also toured with the Nord Netherlands Symphony Orchestra; performed Songs From Disney Movies with the Munich Radio Orchestra; recorded her Wish Me Love CD with The Metropole Orchestra of Holland; and recorded the Holiday Pops CD with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She is the guest vocalist on the 2006 Crossover Xmas and the 2007 Crossover Xmas: The Sound Goes Big CDs recorded with the Philharmonie Baden-Baden of Germany.
A respected vocal clinician, adjudicator, and mentor, Dee presents clinics, workshops, and master classes around the world. She served on the President’s Advisory Council of the 2016 -2018 Jazz Education Network (JEN) Conference. In 2017 she created the Dee Daniels Jazz Vocal Scholarship as part of the DeMiero Jazz Festival in Edmonds, WA. In 2013, she created the Dee Daniels Vocal Jazz Workshop, a weeklong workshop at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp, was an adjudicator for YoungArts for five consecutive years. In 2001, established the Dee Daniels Jazz Vocal Scholarship at the Capilano University in North Vancouver, BC and was a donor for 15 years. She was the first musician to serve on the Advisory Board of the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival from 2002 – 2008, and has received several awards for her contribution in the field of music performance, music education, and community service.