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Born in 1956 in Detroit, and raised in Colorado, Reeves was surrounded by music as a child. Her father, who died when she was two years old, was a singer, her mother played the trumpet, and her uncle, Charles Burrell, played bass. Reeves was also surrounded by strong women who modeled hard work, and above all, persistence…

 …Reeves started singing in junior high school and credited her choir teacher, Bennie Williams, for providing the opportunity not only to discover that she had a great voice, but to realize the power of song: there are no boundaries in music.

When Reeves first started to sing, she listened to the greats—Sarah Vaughan, Betty Carter, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, and Carmen McRae. In particular, Reeves was drawn to Vaughan’s rich distinct sound and emulated her style, “… it was quite an education because it allowed me to feel what it was like to sing phrases over the bar line, to sing a melody and improvise within the harmonic structure without even knowing what I was doing, just listening to how she would do it,” she said in an interview with Gerald Jonas, for Great Performances Swingin’ With The Duke, on PBS. However, Reeves was aware that she must develop her own voice, her own style.

While growing up, Reeves listened to, and appreciated, all kinds of music. She was impressed by songs that described the times, that told a story. She came to appreciate the tale that could be told in a song, not just from the lyrics, but by way of a nuance, the phrasing, the enunciation of a word, crescendo and descrescendo…

…Reeves, who considered jazz as a “passport” to other kinds of music, was also exposed to music from other countries and cultures. The fusing of different cultural styles of music was also very attractive to Reeves. After high school Reeves attended the University of Colorado for one year and was also kept busy performing in the local clubs. Reeves moved to Los Angeles in 1976, and became interested in Latin-American and Caribbean music. She worked with Sergio Mendes, with whom she accompanied on a world tour, and worked with Eduardo del Barrio, with whom she has consistently worked with for over twenty years. In the early 1980s, Reeves moved to New York and worked with Harry Belafonte, who introduced her to folk music from around the world, particularly African music. This experience allowed Reeves to fully realize the depth of influence the rhythm-oriented African music has had on Latin music and on jazz..

…For several years during her career, Reeves vacillated between musical styles: R&B, gospel, pop, Latin, African, and jazz. She enjoys the freedom that she has had to explore and perform such a wide variety of music, ranging from Ellington, to Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell, to Kurt Weill and Stephen Sondheim. Reeves admitted that she has derived a great deal of inspiration from the great jazz singers that she grew up listening to, but she also credited composers and conductors for their inspiration as well.

18 & 19/11, 22:30


32 – 34 Voutadon st. GAZI

nearest metro station: Keramikos

on line tickets

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