FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Contact: Shelley Kean at 604.983.7596
(NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.)—Legendary jazz vocalist, Dee Daniels, will be recognized with an honorary doctor of fine arts degree at Capilano University’s fine and applied arts spring convocation ceremony on June 9.
The honorary doctorate degree at Capilano University is conferred upon those distinguished and widely recognized individuals who have outstanding and sustained achievement in their area of expertise and whose achievements are appropriate and relevant to the University.
“Over many years, Dee has been a generous and important contributor on a number of levels to Capilano University and to her chosen profession,” said Dr. Greg Lee, Capilano’s president and vice-chancellor. “Her incredible talent, combined with a strong belief in education, makes her a perfect choice for this acknowledgment.”
Daniels is known as a born educator who utilizes an inspiring and down-to-earth approach with her students that helps them rise to the occasion. She has worked for many years with guest artists in Capilano’s Jazz Series and has been a great role model for young aspiring singers everywhere. The North Vancouver resident also gives of her own time on an annual basis to student vocalists in Capilano University’s Jazz Studies degree program.
“Being the storyteller that I am, I find that I have no words to express my delight at this moment,” Daniels said. “So, to quote lines from a song by the great composers, George and Ira Gershwin: ‘‘S wonderful, ‘S marvelous, ‘S awful nice, ‘S paradise’ that Capilano University should bestow such a great honour on me. I’ve always felt that as a professional musician who has been blessed, I have a joyful responsibility to share – to pay the blessings and information forward. To be acknowledged for doing so is icing on the cake!”
Daniels is only the second honorary degree recipient at the institution since it received university designation last year. The first was C. Peter Jones, retired engineer and former mayor and alderman of West Vancouver, who received a doctor of laws, honoris causa at the University’s inaugural convocation in November 2008.
Capilano University serves the communities of the Lower Mainland, Howe Sound, and the Sunshine Coast through campuses in North Vancouver, Squamish and Sechelt. Enrolment totals 6,700 students in credit programs each term with an additional 7,000 people taking non-credit courses annually. Capilano offers a complete range of preparatory courses, university transfer courses, business and management studies, creative and applied arts programs, health and human services programs, plus a range of services in support of student learning and success. Credentials awarded include bachelor degrees, associate degrees, post-baccalaureate diplomas, advanced diplomas, diplomas, certificates and statements of completion.
Dee Daniels – Biography
Dee Daniels is a crowd pleaser and a musician’s musician. Whether accompanying herself at the piano, fronting a trio, big band or symphony, she is a unique talent who transcends musical borders when she brings her jazz styling, infused with gospel and blues flavoring, to the stage.
Daniels’ style was born in her stepfather’s church choir in Oakland, California, honed through the R&B era and brought to full fruition during a five-year stay in Europe from 1982 to 1987. During those years, she had many wonderful opportunities to perform with such ‘Legends of Jazz’ as Toots Thielemans, Johnny Griffin, Ed Thigpen, and Monty Alexander to name but a few. Two other personal highlights while in Europe include having had the opportunity of singing the Blues with the late, divine Sarah Vaughan in The Netherlands, and singing Gospel with the late great Joe Williams in Germany.
Dee’s international career includes performances in eleven African countries, Australia, Colombia, Hong Kong and Japan, as well as in North America and many countries throughout Europe. She has cultivated a diverse career that has seen her on the theatre stage in the musical comedy, Wang Dang Doodle, and the starring role in the 2001 Calgary Stampede.
She has also established herself as a jazz vocalist in demand by the classical music world. She performs her Great Ladies of Swing, and The Soul of Ray: The Music of Ray Charles POPS programs with symphony orchestras across Canada and the USA. A respected vocal clinician and mentor, Dee sincerely believes in sharing her knowledge and experience with young singers/musicians. She is an inspiring motivational speaker.
Capilano University has offered a premier jazz studies program for more than 25 years and a jazz degree since 1992. Dee’s history with the Cap Jazz Series goes back to its inception with her first appearance in the series in the spring of 1998.
In 2001, Dee created the Dee Daniels Jazz Vocal Scholarship at Capilano University. Also in 2001, she was the recipient of the FANS Award (a North Vancouver, BC Arts Council presentation); was nominated as Vocalist of the Year, and her Love Story CD was nominated for Best Jazz CD of the Year by West Coast Music Awards. In 2002 she was inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame and a plaque was installed on Vancouver’s Walk of Fame.
In 2003 she received the prestigious Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and was inducted into the University of Montana’s School of Fine Arts, Hall of Honor where she is also a 1997 Distinguished Alumni.
Her JAZZINIT CD was in the Top Ten CDs of 2007 on several polls. In 2008, she was a recipient of Capilano University’s Presidents Service Award. She served on the Advisory Board of the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival from 2001 – 2009.