It’s a very long way from Nanaimo, British Columbia to New York and the concert halls of Paris, London, Rome, Rio … and the world’s largest jazz festival in Montreal. To have made the transition is an amazing accomplishment that required tremendous strength of character, drive and above all – talent – lots of talent. After many sold performances at The Montreal International Jazz Festival, Diana Krall will be performing a free concert at the TD Main Stage before tens of thousands of people.

André Ménard, co-founder of the Montreal International Jazz Festival has seen thousands of artists in his 35 years with the festival, and he has high praise for Diana Krall. “I remember going to see Lena Horne’s final performance in New York with Diana and her manager. There was an emotionally powerful moment in the show when Lena was standing alone in the spotlight, singing Yesterday When I Was Young, with just the piano for accompaniment. I turned to look at Diana – she had tears streaming down her cheeks… I thought to myself – she has a big heart to feel this moment so deeply. I especially love the spirit of that moment. She has the heart of a true artist.”

“I was immersed in music growing up” notes Diana. “My father had a vast record collection; and that’s how I first heard Fats Waller, Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong. I connected with music on such an emotional level that it wasn’t ‘This is what I want to do’, it was ‘This is what I have to do’. Since making that decision, Diana has won two Grammy Awards and eight JUNO Awards.

In 1987 Diana moved to Los Angeles at the suggestion of the famous bassist Ray Brown, who along with Rosemary Clooney became a mentor for Diana. In LA Diana studied with legendary pianist Jimmy Knowles, who encouraged her to begin singing.

In 1993 Diana recorded her first album for the Montreal jazz label Justin Time Records, and followed with her first appearance at the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 1994. André has brought Diana to the jazz festival on numerous occasions since her first appearance in 1994; but he believes that her appearance in 1995 was a seminal moment in her career. “We had booked Diana into the Just for Laughs Cabaret for an entire week, and I believe that engagement really helped her career take off; with over 400 jazz journalists from around the world taking in her performances.” Diana was performing a Tribute to Nat King Cole that week, and produced a live album titled; All for You: A Dedication to the Nat King Cole Trio, which was nominated for a Grammy Award and stayed on the Billboard Jazz Chart for an incredible 70 weeks!

Another successful recording called Love Scenes followed in 1997 and became a hit for Diana and her trio. In 1999 Diana recorded When I Look In Your Eyes, which featured lush orchestral arrangements. She received another Grammy nomination and was named Best Jazz Musician of the Year. The same group of musicians recorded The Look Of Love in 2001, and was an astounding success. It reached the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 listing and achieved platinum status in the US. In Canada the album went to number one on the charts and sold enough copies to achieve quadruple platinum recognition. These huge sales numbers were virtually unheard of for a jazz musician. Rather than achieving a crossover success, André Ménard believes something else happened; “In Diana’s case, the public came to her. It’s the public that made the crossover to her. It’s an incredible achievement to attract fans in those large numbers – and still remain true to her music.”

Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello

Diana married rock ‘n’ roll performer Elvis Costello in 2003; and Elvis encouraged and collaborated with Diana with her original compositions. In 2004 she released The Girl in the Other Room, with half the songs written by Diana and Elvis.

In 2004, André Ménard and the Montreal Jazz Festival once again played an important role on Diana’s career. She recorded a concert DVD; Live at the Montreal Jazz Festival, enabling fans to see as well as listen to her performances. Later that same year Diana recorded a duet with Ray Charles, You Don’t Know Me for his bestselling Genius Loves Company recording. Tony Bennett had previously included Diana as part of a 20 city tour in 2000.

Diana’s 2006 recording, Quiet Nights; had a definite Bossa Nova style to it. Diana was then in her mid-40s, happily married and a mother of twin boys. Tommy LiPuma, her producer since 1994 commented; “She’s completely matured. She approaches her vocal phrasing much more like an instrumentalist than a straight singer…much more misty; like Peggy Lee in her mature period. Motherhood definitely agrees with her – and marriage. I think she’s really come into her own.” LiPuma later recruited Diana to play stride piano on Paul McCartney’s 2012 album Kisses on the Bottom.

Diana Krall collaborated with Academy Award winning costume designer, Colleen Atwood for her Glad Rag Doll tour costumes, inspired by Alfred Cheney Johnston's pictures of the girls of the Ziegfeld Follies taken during the 1920s.

Diana Krall collaborated with Academy Award winning costume designer, Colleen Atwood for her Glad Rag Doll tour costumes, inspired by Alfred Cheney Johnston’s pictures of the girls of the Ziegfeld Follies taken during the 1920s.

Of this recording Diana noted; “I enjoyed making Quiet Nights more than any other record. I couldn’t wait to go to the studio and see what would happen.” Continuing; “It’s a sensual, downright erotic record and it’s intended to be that way…it’s a love letter to my husband.”

Recorded in 2008 for Verve Records, the premiere jazz label in the United States, Glad Rag Doll is a collection of sensual and gritty songs from the ‘20s and ‘30s. Diana’s June 29 free outdoor concert on the TD Main Stage is the final concert in her Glad Rag Doll Tour, and marks her 20th Anniversary of performing with the Montreal International Jazz Festival – a continuing springboard for her development as a performing artist.