When Joy Overflows into Music

I’m back home in New York City after a couple of whirlwind weeks in Pittsburgh, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Philadelphia. A few photo highlights: On June 22, photographer Urban Landreman took this shot of me performing with Nnenna Freelon, Chris Berger … Continue reading

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Mary Lou Williams Video and Deanna’s June dates in Pittsburgh

Here’s new video from Jazz Congress 2019, where I gave a six-minute pitch on my 2021 book/concert tour, Mary Lou Williams: Music for the Soul. I’ve been working steadily on my Mary Lou Williams biography (of the same title) to be … Continue reading

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New Video! Deanna plays with Vanessa Rubin on WBGO’s Singers Unlimited

Last week I played with vocalist Vanessa Rubin on two radio tapings for Sirius XM’s Real Jazz and WBGO’s Singers Unlimited. The WBGO broadcast airs on Sunday, May 19 from noon-1 pm.  Hear it live or archived after the fact here … Continue reading

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Gigs in MN and NYC: 4/29 in Collegeville, MN; 5/3 in Nyack, NY; 5/13-17 in NYC

I’ve been in Collegeville, Minnesota for the entire month of April working on my Mary Lou Williams biography. More on that in the next blog post! In the meantime, here are some performance dates coming up super soon (check my … Continue reading

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We Walk in Love- the story behind Deanna’s Justice Choir song

In early 2017, I responded to a call for scores for a new collection of social justice songs being curated by Abbie Betinis, Tesfa Wondemagegnhehu, and Ahmed Anzaldúa. The songs to be selected as part of a new movement called … Continue reading

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Mary Lou Williams and Deanna’s trip to Pittsburgh

UPDATE: Click to hear audio from Deanna’s December 2018 performance-lecture on the sacred music of Mary Lou Williams. As a musician, the sensation of being “in the flow” occurs when music is easily moving through me; when group interplay rises … Continue reading

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NEW! Comfort Ye: 5 Advent and Christmas pieces

As a former church music director, I know what it feels like to look at your upcoming calendar and realize that you need to quickly fill a spot or two for the Advent or Christmas season. With that in mind, … Continue reading

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GRAMMY For Your Consideration: Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns

Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns is in three pre-nomination categories for the 2019 Grammy Awards!  •Category 33: Best Jazz Instrumental Album (#287, Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns) •Category 31: Best Improvised Jazz Solo (#391, “Lord, I Want … Continue reading

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Deanna’s jazz hymns article in the September issue of Down Beat!

My article, “Making Hearts and Voices Sing: Creating Jazz Hymns,” is now out in the September issue of Down Beat (it’s on pages 82-84). Complete with notated music examples, it offers practical tools on where to start in creating jazz arrangements of … Continue reading

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Back from Brazil! Photos from the Santuário Nacional de Nossa Senhora Aparecida

I returned from my artist residency in Brazil on June 11. Since then, I’ve been going through photos, reading my “morning pages” (daily journal entries), and delving into books that I bought during my stay, like this great one on the story … Continue reading

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