ABOUT DIANA & CHRIS

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AWARDS

2018 – Diana Braithwaite – Awarded Global Music Bronze Award – Best Female Jazz Vocalist

2018 Winner – Diana Braithwaite Life Time Achievement – Blues With A Feeling Award – Maple Blues Awards

2011 Winner – Chris Whiteley Life Time Achievement – Blues With A Feeling Award – Maple Blues Awards

Nominated ~ Best Female Vocalist ~ Maple Blues Awards

Winner ~ of Canada Council’s Musical Composer’s  Award

Winner of Canada’s SOCAN Best Songwriters Award

Winner ~ Jazz Report ~ Album of the year

Winner ~ 7 Time Best Horn Player of the Year Winner

Maple Blues Awards ~ Canada

Winner of The African ~ American Women in The Arts Award ~ Chicago, Illinois USA

Winner of The Golden Sheaf Award ~ Soundtrack

Best Original Songs for feature-length movie ~ Canada

Winner of The Cable Ace Award- feature film ~ Los Angeles, USA

Gemini Award Winner ~ Canada


DIANA BRAITHWAITE -A vintage and classic jazz & blues performer

Born in Toronto, Canada, Diana Lee Braithwaite grew up crooning jazz and blues classics that were played by her elder brother jazz pianist, Victor Cornell Braithwaite.

When Diana Braithwaite sings, you hear passion, with sultry stories of life beautifully expressed through music. Braithwaite is a descendant of the Wellington County pioneers in Canada. With roots in the southern United States her ancestors escaped slavery through the Underground Railroad and lived for four generations in Wellington County, the first African-Canadian pioneer settlement in Ontario, Canada.  Growing up, Diana spent summers in Montreal, Quebec, in a place called “Little Burgundy”, the historic African-Canadian neighbourhood where her father and the great jazz musician Oscar Peterson were both born. Dubbed “a national treasure” by JAZZ FM’s Radio host Danny Marks, Diana Braithwaite combines elements from Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Esther Phillips and others to create her own unique appealing and expressive jazz and blues style.

CHRIS WHITELEY- A vintage  cornet and trumpet jazz & blues performer

Kansas born multi-instrumentalist Chris Whiteley has had an illustrious music career spanning some 40 years.  Whiteley’s extensive touring career includes working with many renowned jazz and blues legends such as Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson and countless appearances on television and radio including a special guest appearance on Saturday Night Live with the international recording jazz artist Leon Redbone. A multiple award-winning international touring horn player, Chris Whiteley is also a sought-after recording artist and has appeared on over 250 recordings over his successful career as a trumpet and cornet player. Whiteley, who blows his trumpet with a clear tone and a sublime unique jazz style, has received numerous Canadian Maple Blues Awards as both songwriter and horn player of the year and a Jazz Report Magazine Blues Album of the Year Award. In 2010 Whiteley was awarded the prestigious BLUES WITH A FEELING AWARD, for lifetime achievement in the blues.  In January 2014 Chris Whiteley won the Maple Blues Award for the top blues horn player in Canada–for the 7th time.


QUOTES

“Talented couple highlight the TD Toronto Jazz festival, which kicks off today across the city.” ~ Errol Nazareth, THE TORONTO SUN – rhythms ’N’ rhymes

“Superbly effortless Chris Whiteley and Diana Braithwaite, whose genius simply flowed.” ~ TORONTO STAR October 2, 2014 Richard Ouzounian

“Braithwaite’s voice is a crystal clear, full-bodied, gorgeous instrument.” ~ BLUES IN BRITAIN MAGAZINE

“Braithwaite and Whiteley have a beautiful way with a song” ~ Blues Revue Magazine-USA

“Two talented performers join forces…” ~ Downbeat Magazine Frank-John Hadley

“Diana’s voice is full of class and dignity” ~ Radio Poland

“Chris Whiteley…Un musicien de bon gout, qui puisse aux meilleures sources (blues, jazz, swing) du patrimoine musical americain. D’autre part, c’est un bon chanteur, doté d’une voix douce teintée de bourbon” ~ Soul Bag, France

“Diana Braithwaite is a national treasure.” ~ Danny Marks, Jazz Fm. 91.1

“The musical talents and abilities of Chris Whiteley are seemingly endless. As well as being an award-winning songwriter, he is equally at home on instruments as diverse as guitar, pedal steel, trumpet and harmonica.” ~ Music Legend Jeff Healey

“Won me over at first listen…expressive and beautiful” ~ CBC Radio Canada

“Every song has a tale to tell, and Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley convey each one in their elegant, eloquent fashion.” ~ Melanie Young Living Blues Magazine

 

Review:  Whole Note Magazine – By David Olds “The Listening Room”

The following review is an excerpt from Editor’s Corner (May 2018). Diana Braithwaite & Chris Whitely’s new album I Was Telling Him About You (g-threejazz.com) 

 Each of the eight tracks on this lush – I’m almost surprised that Lush Life is not included – recording of vocal jazz standards is andante, a leisurely stroll through some of the best of the genre. What can be said of Braithwaite, other than that her voice is exquisite, and exquisitely suited to this smoky repertoire. The recipient of the 2018 Toronto Blues Society Blues With A Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement Award), she is equally at home in the worlds of hot blues and cool jazz. Her partner in crime, or at least criminally gorgeous music-making, Whiteley is himself an eight-time winner of the Maple Blues Horn Player of the Year – who knew there was such a thing?

My admiration for multi-instrumentalist Whitely – here only trumpet, cornet and vocals, but elsewhere adding harmonica, bass harmonica, guitars and more – again goes back to my formative years when I first encountered the Original Sloth Band in the early 1970s. This trio – comprised of Chris Whitely, his brother Ken and Tom Evans – played more than a dozen instruments, from mandolin to clarinet to accordion and any number of harmonicas, jugs and miscellany between them, and were my introduction to such 20s and 30s classics as Cheek to Cheek(I Just Want to be) HorizontalThe Sheik of ArabyGimme A Pigfoot (And A Bottle of Beer) and Heaven to name just a few. The most incredible thing was they would play these many-layered arrangements with six or eight (or more) instruments without overdubbing. Whitely seems to have mellowed some with age, but like a good scotch, that’s the point, isn’t it?

Highlights for me on this latest disc – he’s been a sideman on hundreds of albums over the years, and it’s great to see him sharing the spotlight again – include… no wait, they are all highlights actually, but to give you an idea of what to expect I’ll mention SkylarkThe Nearness of YouI’ve Grown Accustomed to Your Face and ’Round Midnight. The one thing you may not expect is the sumptuous version of What A Difference A Day Makes. I grew up with Esther Phillips’ upbeat version, and although I realize now (courtesy of YouTube) that was not always the way it was performed, this very effective laid back version was a revelation to me.

The way that Braithwaite captures the essence of these ballads is enchanting, and the way Whitely’s horn extends her lines is breathtaking.