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FYI

A Podcast Conversation With... Denzal Sinclaire & Dee Daniels

Dee Daniels & Denzal Sinclaire - Let it Shine! Let it Shine!

A Podcast Conversation With... Denzal Sinclaire & Dee Daniels

By Bill King

Dee Daniels & Denzal Sinclaire - Let it Shine! Let it Shine!


You had to be church people to get where this recording lives. Both white and black parishioners can delight in the selections on Let it Shine!  Whether they are called hymns or spirituals, preacher man Thomas Dorsey brought it all together under one banner—Gospel Music. Dorsey scripted over 3000 songs. Take My Hand, Precious Lord and Peace in the Valley. That transition began in 1928 right into the 1930s.

Daniels and Sinclaire reach deep into a well of traditional favourites: Softly and Tenderly, If He Changed My Name, Woke Up This Morning, Blessings Upon Blessings, and This Little Light on Mine.

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The vibe is yesteryear; the moment is now. Enjoy this week’s podcast with Dee Daniels and Denzal Sinclaire.

This milestone project was a labour of love from a group of legendary artists that found comfort in African American hymns & spirituals during a time of deep trouble in our world. The direction for the music from the outset was to step away from the world of jazz & dig deeper into the roots of Black music. Featuring Dee Daniels & Denzal Sinclaire on vocals, John Clayton on bass, arrangements and production, Herlin Riley on drums, Bobby Floyd on Hammond B3, & Isaiah J. Thompson on piano.

Dee Daniels is a unique talent who transcends musical borders when she brings her jazz styling, infused with gospel and blues flavouring, to the stage. She performs and records globally with symphony orchestras, big bands, combos, and with many jazz legends­ including Monty Alexander, John Clayton, Wycliffe Gordon, Cyrus Chestnut, Eric Alexander, Ken Peplowski, and Russell Malone. Dee has 14 CDs as a leader to her credit, including her 2021 multi-award-winning and critically acclaimed CD, The Promise. Her 2013 release, State of the Art, on Criss Cross Jazz Records made her the first vocalist and female leader in the label’s 40+ year history. Visit deedaniels.com for detailed information about Dee’s extensive career.      

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With a palpable authenticity, towering five-octave range, powerful blues and gospel-tinged jazz vocal approach, Dee Daniels has built a sterling reputation amongst jazz fans and critics around the world for over four decades. 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.” Dee has 14 CDs as a leader and has performed and/or recorded with the who’s who of the Jazz world, including Jazz legends, both past and present. The list includes Benny Green, Houston Person, Russell Malone, Wycliffe Gordon, Cyrus Chestnut, Clark Terry, Ken Peplowski, Kenny Barron, Toots Thielemans, Hank and Elvin Jones, Monty Alexander, Bucky Pizzarelli, Lionel Hampton, and Herb Ellis.

She is the recipient of many awards for her music, education, and community services. Her awards include the 2022 Pop Award (Germany) for Album of the Year; Legacy Award: National Congress of Black Women Foundation, Western Canadian Music Award; Global Music Award; the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame; and an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Fine Arts.

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Denzal Sinclaire has gained popularity as one of Canada's most popular jazz vocalists and has been recognized as one of the finest jazz singers of his generation. A graduate of McGill University’s Jazz Performance program (Montreal, Canada), he possesses that rare ability to achieve, from the moment he steps on stage, a profound emotional interaction with his audience. His passionate and sincere delivery caresses every song he sings. He touches the listener with the purity of the message.

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Denzal is a two-time Juno Award nominee, a recipient of the 2004 National Jazz Award for Best Album” a four-time consecutive recipient of the Jazz Report Magazine Award for Male Jazz Vocalist, and the 2007 Choc Jazzman Award (France). His admirers include Grammy Award -Winning artists, Diana Krall (”Denzal Sinclaire embodies the tradition of the talented singers I love like Nat Cole, yet definitely has his own voice.  He is one of my favourite singers...”), Bette Midler, Dianne Reeves, Michael Feinstein and Michel Bublé and growing legions of jazz fans in his native Canada and abroad. From his early days as a canny interpreter of Nat ‘King’ Cole’s mentholated crooning, he’s grown into one of the most distinctive and individualistic singers anywhere.

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The Beaches performing at Billboard Canada's Women in Music Launch on June 5, 2024
Marc Thususka Photography

The Beaches performing at Billboard Canada's Women in Music Launch on June 5, 2024

Awards

The Beaches, Charlotte Cardin, Allison Russell Make the 2024 Polaris Music Prize Long List

The 40-album long list for the Polaris Prize, which awards $50,000 to the best Canadian record of the year features up-and-comers like punk group NOBRO and producer Bambii, plus rapper TOBi, and legends like Quebec group Karkwa and previous Heritage Prize winner Beverly Glenn-Copeland.

Some of the country's biggest breakthrough artists are in contention for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

The 40-album long list was revealed today (June 11) at Sonic Boom record store in downtown Toronto. It features some of the buzziest names in Canadian music, from The Beaches — who were recently awarded Billboard Canada Women in Music's inaugural Group of the Year award — to Grammy-winner Allison Russell, to Canadian Hot 100 charting acts like Charlotte Cardin and Talk, to underground mainstays like Cindy Lee, who had an organic breakthrough this year with Diamond Jubilee.

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