Dee Alexander is a premier vocalist/songwriter in American music and one of Chicago’s most gifted artists. Her performances include gospel, blues, neo-soul, rhythm-and-blues, and world music. But her heart belongs to jazz. Ms. Alexander gravitated toward jazz at an early age and Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald influenced her. Chicago saxophonist Henry Huff encouraged her to take risks and cross boundaries to become one of the most accomplished voice improvisers in the world today. Her 2007 “Sirens of Song” tribute to Nina Simone and Dinah Washington commissioned by the Jazz Institute of Chicago introduced her to a larger audience and helped her garner world recognition, resulting in tours of France, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Poland. Ms. Alexander boasts associations with Chicago’s jazz elite Ramsey Lewis, Orbert Davis, and Nicole Mitchell. She leads two bands: the Dee Alexander Quartet and the Evolution Ensemble, which emphasizes her original compositions. Her accolades include “Chicagoan of the Year” (Chicago Tribune, 2008) and “Jazz Entertainer of the Year” (Chicago Music Awards), and her 2009 album Wild Is The Wind received five stars (highest honor) from Downbeat Magazine, which named it among the Top Ten recordings of the new millennium. Ms. Alexander is also a member of the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), Chicago’s internationally known musicians’ collective, and has performed frequently in major AACM productions, as well as in other large-scale works on Chicago stages and television; recent projects re-interpreting the music of rock and soul legends James Brown and Jimi Hendrix.
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