Denise Perrier in San Miguel de Allende
By Catherine Cusic
Denise Perrier has built an international reputation performing in festivals, concert halls, jazz clubs, and more. 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 western Europe, Latin America, Scandinavia, Russia, Ukraine, and many more countries. She has played major cities including Paris, Venice, Milan, Helsinki, Moscow, and St. Petersburg.
Recently she has concentrated on the Americas and has performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center and Dizzy’s Coca-Cola.
In 2014, she sold out six shows in a weekend. She has appeared at SF Jazz as the headliner as well as a featured guest with other artists. In 2011, she did a show at The Hotel Nikko’s Razz Room (now Feinstein’s). This show was built around Dinah Washington and Bessie Smith.
Festivals where she has been invited to perform include the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival, Stanford Jazz Festival, and several other events in the US, Mexico, and Brazil.
In 1993, she was featured on a CD with Jack McDuff, Color Me Blue, Jack McDuff and Friends. Also on the CD was George Benson. The CD received a Grammy nomination.
She then co-produced a CD with renowned saxophonist Houston Person, I Wanna Be Loved. Other CDs have been with US musicians as well as Russian artists. While in Russia, she recorded a live CD with the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra. She 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 US, Japan, and Russia.
Her recent show, “Dinah, Bessie, 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. Whether singing Duke Ellington´s “I’m Just a Lucky So and So,” or “Day Dream,” to a haunting melody like Billie Holiday´s “Hush Now Don’t Explain,” Denise Perrier leaves her audiences wanting more.