Reeves in emotional Jazz tribute to mom

In her clear, crisp voice, five-time Gram­my-award win­ner Di­anne Reeves man­aged to get all the way to the end of her trib­ute song to her moth­er, ti­tled “I Re­mem­ber,” be­fore she briefly broke down at Jazz at the Lin­coln Cen­ter, The Ramp, Rod­ney Bay, at the Saint Lu­cia Jazz Fes­ti­val. Be­fore pre­sent­ing the of­fer­ing on Fri­day night, she told the au­di­ence the day marked the an­niver­sary of her moth­er’s tran­si­tion–a woman who in many ways, she said, was the pil­lar that held her up.

Reeves had ear­li­er graced the stage as the evening’s head­line act wear­ing an Afro-styled hair­do, a com­fort­able loose-fit­ting knee-length dress and strap­less san­dals. She im­me­di­ate­ly went to work on her craft, de­liv­er­ing a pore-rais­ing ren­di­tion of I Love You Un­til the End of Nev­er, dur­ing which time she al­so stopped to freestyle a greet­ing to the au­di­ence, en­cour­ag­ing them to en­joy her en­ter­tain­ment.

Through­out her per­for­mance, Reeves re­mained very re­laxed and per­formed her songs ef­fort­less­ly, churn­ing out clas­sics from her var­i­ous al­bums and opt­ing at times to do some cov­er pieces, but on­ly of the singers she high­ly re­gards, like the late reg­gae megas­tar Bob Mar­ley, to whom she al­so paid trib­ute with a ren­di­tion of I Don’t Want to Wait in Vain. She al­so sent the au­di­ence in fren­zy with her abil­i­ty to do a full set in pure scat (vo­cal im­pro­vi­sa­tion with word­less vo­ca­bles), much to their ap­pre­ci­a­tion as pa­trons shout­ed her name and clapped con­sis­tent­ly.

Be­tween her set, Reeves al­so shared words of wis­dom with her au­di­ence, telling them over the years she has learned it is bet­ter to build bridges than walls. This, of course, was the in­spi­ra­tion for her song ti­tled Bridges, which earned her three Gram­my nom­i­na­tions for Best Jazz Vo­cal Per­for­mance in 1999.

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