The Dinah Washington , Sarah Vaughn & the Billie Holiday Revue starring Detroit’s very own DeAnna Weeden, Nina Simone Neal & Sky Covington. A Jazz Revue featuring the music of jazz greats Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn & Billie Holiday.
Dinah Washington: In 1959, Washington made a sudden breakthrough into the mainstream pop market with “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes,” a revival of a Dorsey Brothers hit set to a Latin American bolero tune. For the rest of her career, she would concentrate on singing ballads backed by lush orchestrations for Mercury and Roulette, a formula similar to that of another R&B-based singer at that time, Ray Charles, and one that drew plenty of fire from critics even though her basic vocal approach had not changed one iota. Although her later records could be as banal as any easy listening dross of the period, there are gems to be found, like Billie Holiday’s “Don’t Explain,” which has a beautiful, bluesy Ernie Wilkins chart conducted by Quincy Jones. Struggling with a weight problem, Washington died of an accidental overdose of diet pills mixed with alcohol at the tragically early age of 39, still in peak voice, still singing the blues in an L.A. club only two weeks before the end.Artist Biography by Richard S. Ginell
Sarah Vaughn in 1944, Vaughan left the Earl Hines band to join Billy Eckstine’s new band. Also working with Eckstine were trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and saxophonist Charlie Parker, who introduced the group to a new form of jazz, known as bebop. Vaughan brought bebop into her singing, which can be heard in the 1945 recording of “Lover Man” that she made with Parker and Gillespie.
After performing with Eckstine’s orchestra for a year, Vaughan briefly worked with John Kirby before leaving big bands behind to become a solo artist (though she often reunited with Eckstine for duets). Having already been given the nickname “Sassy” as a commentary on her onstage style, it was while striking out on her own that she was dubbed “The Divine One” by a DJ in Chicago. In the late 1940s, her popular recordings included “If You Could See Me Now” and “It’s Magic.”
The next decade saw Vaughan produce more pop music, though when she joined Mercury Records she also recorded jazz numbers on a subsidiary label, EmArcy. She sang hits like “Whatever Lola Wants” (1955), “Misty” (1957) and “Broken-Hearted Melody” (1959), which sold more than a million copies. Vaughan gave concerts in the United States and Europe, and her singing was also heard in films such as Disc Jockey (1951) and Basin Street Revue (1956).Article Title
Sarah Vaughan Biograph Author Biography.com Editors /The Biography.com website URLhttps://www.biography.com/people/sarah-vaughan-9516405 Access Date November 12, 2018 Publisher A&E Television Network
Billie Holiday was discovered by producer John Hammond while she was performing in a Harlem jazz club at the age of 18 years old. Hammond was instrumental in getting Holiday recording work with then up-and-coming clarinetist and bandleader Benny Goodman. With Goodman, she sang on several tracks, including her first commercial release “Your Mother’s Son-In-Law” and the 1934 top ten hit “Riffin’ the Scotch.” Known for her distinctive phrasing and expressive, sometimes melancholy voice, Holiday went on to record with jazz pianist Teddy Wilson and others in 1935. She made several singles, including “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” and “Miss Brown to You.” That same year, Holiday appeared with Duke Ellington in the film Symphony in Black. Striking out on her own, Holiday performed at New York’s Café Society. She developed some of her trademark stage persona there—wearing gardenias in her hair and singing with her head tilted back.
During this engagement, Holiday also debuted two of her most famous songs, “God Bless the Child” and “Strange Fruit.” Columbia, her record company at the time, was not interested in “Strange Fruit,” which was a powerful story about the lynching of African Americans in the South. Holiday recorded the song with the Commodore label instead. “Strange Fruit” is considered to be one of her signature ballads, and the controversy that surrounded it—some radio stations banned the record—helped make it a hit. Over the years, Holiday sang many songs of stormy relationships, including “T’ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do” and “My Man.” These songs reflected her personal romances, which were often destructive and abusive.
DeAnna Weeden is no stranger to the Detroit music scene. Her earliest performances include singing with the late pianist Dr. Teddy Harris Jr. at BoMac’s Lounge, as well as performing with the late Marcus Belgrave. DeAnna has performed with Ben’s Friends Jazz Orchestra for the last 19 years. The bandleader, the late Benjamin Pruitt Sr., had this to say of his long-time vocalist, “DeAnna Weeden is an upcoming, very bright star on the metro-Detroit Jazz scene. She sings with the confidence and skills of someone much older and more seasoned; her pitch is impeccable—she is not afraid to take intervallic risks. It is often difficult to imagine that huge, rich resonance coming from her petite frame. She is equally comfortable in front of a big Jazz orchestra or a Jazz trio. She is definitely someone to watch out for on the local, national and international jazz scene.” Her ensemble, DeAnna Weeden and her Jazzy Gentlemen, have been performing for 10 years, and continue to perform at public and private events throughout metro Detroit.
Nina Simone Neal: this Detroit native is named after Nina Simone thanks to her dad whom must’ve known she’d be destined to sing. She is the winner of 2016 DBMA (Detroit Black Music Award) Best R&B vocalist. A wife and mother of three, she’s no stranger to hard work, commitment, dedication & the stage.
Sky Covington is a native-Detroiter singer/songwriter, Sky is a multi-award winning musician, whose many distinguished honors include nominations and wins in multiple categories of the Detroit Music Awards and Detroit Black Music Awards. She has opened for and toured with other Detroit notables such as Straight Ahead, Pieces of a Dream, The Original Vandellas and Kenny “Moodymann” Dixon Jr. just to name a few. Most noted for 18 years of performing the Billie Holiday Revue. Sky Covington’s musical portrait of Billie Holiday is one painted with a band of enchanting brushes, and one that captures the picture of a truly unique artist.