Donna Tucker is truly a jazz singer's singer. She loves lyrics, makes each melody her own and, most of all, she allows you to feel the emotion in each song.
The late Frank Mantooth described Donna as "…a divine voice,sophisticated elegance…great to work with…wonderful to know…"
Donna Tucker has been blessed with not only a vibrant voice, but also a musical style and enchanting presence both on and off the stage making her an unforgettable talent. Although Donna is a native of Kansas, she began her career in Dallas, Texas as a jazz singer/pianist/ as well as working as a TV commercial actor, voice over narrator, and recording jingles. While working in Dallas, Donna became a highly visible talent and spokesperson for the Southland Corporation, otherwise known as 7-11 and traveled the United States and Canada performing in concerts as well as narrating new 7-11 products.
ARTHUR'S, a well known jazz club in Dallas, was home to Donna and her trio…including Pat Coil, well known jazz pianist and composer; Dan Grogan, bass, and Tim Grogan, drums. "Home" meant 11 years, 5 nights a week. During those years in Dallas, Donna performed with the North Texas State University One O'Clock Lab Band, Dallas Jazz Orchestra, and Woody Herman's band. Over a period of 6 years, Donna appeared on numerous nationally recognized telethons, i.e. Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon, National March of Dimes, again, as a performer, representing the Southland Corporation as well as an opening act for Joan Rivers.
The BIG BAND sound became an important part of Tucker's work as she began performing/ producing concerts that again included North Texas State One O'Clock Lab Band members, with Lou Fischer, bass player, arranger, and conductor…. also Neil Slater, director of jazz studies at North Texas was on board as Donna's pianist with the concert series. Today, Tucker still performs with big bands around the country and her library of big band music is remarkable since most of it was arranged by the best that the North Texas State University jazz department had to offer!
In 1999, Donna began a long running contract with the Westin Tokyo in Tokyo, Japan. She spends several months a year there performing 6 nights a week in the penthouse club, Compass Rose. Through out the years, she has truly created a following from "around the world". Guests of the hotel call ahead to book their travel plans with one question being…"Will Donna Tucker happen to be there during our stay?" No other entertainer in the 10 years history of the hotel has been contracted as many times as Donna Tucker.
Jazz studies has become an important component in Donna's innate creativity. After moving back to Kansas…to be near family, Tucker was hired by Friends University as an artist-in residence to develop a vocal jazz ensemble. The success was overwhelming and well-known vocal jazz ensembles, including NEW YORK VOICES, praised the work of the students and gave credit to their director for having guided the students with great professional ease. One of Donna's passions is to give to students what she has collected over the years as a singer and musician. "I truly believe that a student of jazz, whether it be instrumental or vocal…. cannot learn unless they are exposed to those professionals out there 'doing it'! The same is with the choral directors who are so frustrated as to the process of stylizing vocal jazz. The concept is a different "listening" and too many vocal music education majors are not exposed to vocal jazz studies. That's the area I have so much reward in coaching. Throughout the year, I have calls from choral directors who I have met during summer camps. As a clinician, I emphasize to the teachers how important it is for they themselves to become a"listener" of jazz BEFORE they begin teaching the students."
"Life has been very good to me…wonderful family…good health…. and an array of friends from around the world that have encouraged me to continue on my path. I hope you, as a reader, enjoy this website and pass it along to your friends. In the spring/summer, the new CD will come out…. go to "MUSIC" and I'll tell you about it! Success comes in many different forms…. thank you for being an embracing and grateful audience…that, to me, is a great compliment…. and….success."
Kansas City has become a second home for Tucker. Be sure to look for her at Jardine's…as well as the Blue Room in the Jazz District. You can find her with a big band as well as a trio….she's enchanting.
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