Yoshi's Nite Spot
  Jazz at Pearl's
  Bach Dynamite
  Fillmore Jazz Festival
  Oakland Art & Soul
  Carmel Jazz & Blues
  Piedmont Piano
  Chaya Brasserie
  Crowne Plaza
  Hollywood Studio Bar and Grill
  Jazz Bakery
  Hollywood Park Casino
  San Jose Jazz  Festival
  Russian River Jazz Festival
  Healdsburg Jazz festival
  Jazz on the Hill
and many, many more

  San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

  Nearly 20 tours of Russia

  Multi tours of Asia









Bay Area African American Women in Music: Denise Perrier Circles the Globe Singing Jazz and Blues
By Lee Hildebrand Posted August 18, 2015 2:15 pm

Although singer Denise Perrier was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, her music education didn’t really beginuntil she relocated to Oakland with her mother and older sister in 1945. They lived above a juke joint at the corner of 15th and Cypress in West Oakland and had a jukebox in the living room, on which Perrier first heard singers Billie Holiday and Lil Green.
Today, Perrier performs an arrangement of Lil Green’s 1941 blues hit, “Why Don’t You Do Right?” when she appears with the Junius Courtney Big Band. She has been performing with the band for the past 15 years, and also does gigs with bassist Marcus Shelby’s big band and combos, as well as with her own group.
Her family, which would come to include Perrier’s younger brother and future Herbie Hancock bassist Paul Jackson, moved to Albany when she was 9.
While at Albany High School, her history teacher Phil Elwood, and later a music critic at the San Francisco Examiner, used records as part of his instruction. Those of Bessie Smith especially impressed Perrier.
In 1986, Perrier starred in a play about Smith at the Lorraine Hansberry Theater in San Francisco. Last month, she again portrayed Smith in a cabaret show titled “Bessie, Dinah and Me” at Feinstein’s, also in San Francisco.
Perrier’s career in show business began as a teenage dancer in troupes led by choreographers Zack Thompson and Ruth Beckford before joining the Intervals – a vocal group modeled on the Platters that performed at military bases in the Bay Area and at Esther’s Orbit Room and Slim Jenkins in Oakland.|
Louis Armstrong heard them at a NAACP event in San Francisco and was so impressed he brought the Intervals to Las Vegas for a six-week run.
Perrier launched her solo singing career in Australia in 1965 and spent the next seven years performing there, in Hong Kong and Vietnam. She lived in New York City for five years before settling in San Francisco, where she became a favorite on the then-thriving cabaret circuit.
Perrier continues to travel, however. Last year, she did a Dinah Washington show at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in New York City and has been to Russia 28 times since 1997.

“Once I started that, it just mushroomed,” she said of her Russian tours. “Before I’d get home, sometimes I’d have another two or three invitations.”

Jazz’s cool queen gets hot with Swing Fever
October 2, 2015, by Andrew Giilbert BERKELYSIDE.

Denise Perrier’s theme song could be “Travelin’ Light,” as the supremely stylish San Francisco jazz singer continues to follow her wanderlust to the wide corners of the world. Since she first lit out to tour Australia some five decades ago, Perrier has performed in more than two dozen countries, a tireless itinerary that means she’s often introducing herself to new generations of Bay Area jazz fans when she gets back home. You can catch her Saturday at the California Jazz Conservatory with Swing Fever, but then she’s off for San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, followed by her first trip to Cuba in December.

Like so many of her previous foreign connections, Perrier got the chance to fulfill her longtime desire to sing in Cuba by being in the right place at the right time. A few months ago she was performing at Bird & Beckett, the invaluable San Francisco bookstore and venue in Glen Park, where she met the great Cuban poet, translator and essayist Nancy Morejón and “we ended up at the Sheba Lounge singing in Spanish together,” Perrier says. “She talked with the minister of culture and got me this invite.”

Perrier knows how to make a lasting impression. With her velvety contralto and unerring sense of swing, she’s equally at adept at interpreting American Songbook standards with a piano trio in an intimate cabaret as she is belting out blues backed by the Junius Courtney Big Band (though she’ll be in Havana for the JCBB’s next gig at Yoshi’s on Dec. 15, so the estimable Rhonda Benin is stepping in).

She’s been working with Swing Fever since the turn of the century, regularly performing with the group on first and third Tuesdays at the Panama Hotel in San Rafael (as well as Pier 23 and Sausalito Seahorse). Founded and led by trombonist Bryan Gould, the combo has long served as a smart showcase for the best singers in a region known for producing exceptional vocalists, starting with the great Mary Stallings. Before Perrier took over the vocal spot Swing Fever boasted singular singers Paula West, Kim Nalley, Brenda Boykin and Jackie Ryan. For Saturday’s gig, the band features tenor sax great Noel Jewkes, guitarist Jeff Massanari, drummer Tony Johnson, and bassist Dean Riley, a Bay Area jazz mainstay since 1945 (!).

Part of what makes Perrier such a beguiling singer is the way her dry sense of humor and supple phrasing reveal layers of irony in familiar standards. “She does the blues great, but I really think she’s a standards singer,” Gould says. “With Swing Fever the blues make up about a fourth of her repertoire and the rest is mostly Gershwin and Arlen. I really believe in songs, and we pay a lot of attention to the lyrics. It’s straight out of Ella and Billie and Sarah.”





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