Denise Perrier “Unforgettable Dinah Washington”

By June 22, 2014 Blues, Jazz No Comments

“The Voice with a Heart”—harkening back to the era of classic singers. Denise Perrier performs with the Tammy Hall Quartet.

Blessed with a rich contralto voice and the ability to sing ballads and blues with equal artistry, Denise Perrier has spent more than 30 years touring the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Asia, performing with artists ranging from jazz bands to symphonies. Harkening back to the time when a singer told the story and left the rest to the instrumentalists, Perrier has a very welcoming straight-ahead style, concentrating on the standards and adding blues and Latin for variety. She has performed in the theatrical revue “In the House of the Blues,” portraying Bessie Smith, and the vaudeville “One Mo’ Time”, and was featured on the Grammy-nominated album, Color Me Blue, with Brother Jack McDuff.

Perrier was born in Louisiana, and moved to the East Bay Area with her family at the age of five. Denise didn’t sing extensively in church, but her family had a jukebox. Billie Holiday records and the other great early jazz singers surrounded her. She started singing in public when she was in a Haitian and Afro-Cuban dance group, obtaining her first professional engagement with a vocal ensemble called The Intervals. Louis Armstrong saw the group and put them in his entourage for a performance in Las Vegas.