Denise Perrier Leaves Her Audiences Wanting More
By Catherine Cusic
Denise Perrier has built an international reputation performing in festivals, concert halls, and jazz clubs. Born in Louisiana and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, she grew up among many of the greats of the jazz world. When she was in her early twenties, Louis Armstrong heard her singing at the Fairmont Hotel and hired her for his Las Vegas review. Perrier has gone on to tour in Western Europe, Latin America, Scandinavia, Russia, Ukraine, and many other locations. She has played many major cities, including Paris, Venice, Milan, Helsinki, Moscow, and St. Petersburg.
Recently, she has concentrated on the Americas and has performed at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
In 2014, she sold out six shows in a weekend. She has appeared at SF Jazz as the headliner and as a featured guest with other artists. In 2011, she did a show at Hotel Nikko’s Razz Room (now Feinstein’s), also in San Francisco. This show was built around Dinah Washington and Bessie Smith.
Perrier has been invited to perform at festivals including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, San José Jazz Festival, Stanford Jazz Festival, and several other events in the United States, Mexico, and Brazil.
In 1993, she was featured with Jack McDuff on a CD titled Color Me Blue, Jack McDuff and Friends. Also on the CD was George Benson. This CD went on to a Grammy nomination.
She then co-produced the CD I Wanna Be Loved with renowned saxophonist Houston Person. Perrier has recorded other CDs with US musicians as well as Russian artists. While in Russia, she recorded a live CD with the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra. Perrier has recorded two live CDs in the Bay Area—one at the renowned Yoshi’s Oakland and the other at the historic San Francisco club Jazz at Pearls. She is also featured on several big band compilations in the United States, Japan, and Russia.
Her recent show, Bessie, Dinah and Me, has sold out repeatedly, whether performed in an intimate jazz supper club like Feinstein’s or a large venue like New York City’s Jazz at Lincoln Center and whether she sings Duke Ellington’s “I’m Just a Lucky So and So,” “Day Dream,” or a haunting melody like Billie Holiday’s “Hush Now Don’t Explain.”
Perrier will present a concert in the Real de Minas Hotel November 21 at 7 pm.