Peggy Sue Dunigan

NEW! Diane Reeves sings jazz at Alverno

By - Apr 10th, 2011 02:38 pm
Get a daily rundown of the top stories on Urban Milwaukee

Dianne Reeves. Photo courtesy of the artist’s website

Saturday night, the incomparable Dianne Reeves graced Alverno College’s Pittman Theater, to close a stunning 51st Alverno Presents season.

Reeves, a four-time Grammy winner, said at the start that it would be a special night for laughing, dancing, dreaming and romancing. So it was. She opened with The Twelfth of Never where love could melt the heart like April snow and sang on for almost 100 minutes. She even introduced her long- time band members — Peter Martin (piano), Reginald Veal (bass and guitar), Romero Lubambo (guitar) and Terreon Gully (percussion) — with improvised melodies.

Reeves wrapped her marvelous voice in velvet Tango du Jour, a composition that changes every time the band plays it. The inspiration for this song, she said, was a singer she heard on television while in Spain. She didn’t know the language, but felt that she understood what was in the singer’s heart. Words are incidental to Reeves’s art. She slips easly into Jazz, Latin, or African folk styles. and she soaked up influences from numerous jazz artists, especially Sarah Vaughn.

Saturday night evoked more memories as Reeves mesmerized the audience. An enchanting Our Love is Here to Stay featured the Brazilian-born Lubambo in a duet when only his guitar accompanied her vocals. Just before this she sang an original song about being a child of nine. The lyrics delight in the joys to childhood and the importance to what Reeves claims is, “Innocence and imagination, the greatest things we can hold in our heart.”

What else is there to say that someone else hasn’t already said over Reeves’ astonishing 25 years singing Jazz? With almost 20 solo recordings to her name, and more to come, the night was as the vocalist told the audience that live jazz is  “Magic, the only one of its kind. The stage is a sacred place, and you will never hear it this way again.” This truth unfolded when a voice from the audience called, “I love you, Dianne.” “I love you, too,” Reeves graciously replied and then added with a contagious ebullience, “l love love.”

Applause in appreciation goes to Director David Ravel for captivating Milwaukee audiences with world class music and talent. Alverno Presents will announce its 2011-2012 season on June 15.

Categories: Classical

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us