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Diana Panton

Diana Panton is a jazz vocalist who hails from Hamilton, Canada. When legendary Canadian multi-instrumentalist Don Thompson first heard Panton sing at age 19, he recommended she audition for the reputed jazz workshop at the Banff Center for the Arts (Canada). There, she studied under Norma Winstone (and, in subsequent visits, Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton). While at Banff, Panton was invited to perform with Thompson at the famed Blue Room. "She really knocked me out that night," Thompson said. "She was so young but she had a lot of depth and real feeling. It surprised me right away." Following that performance, Thompson told Panton to contact him when she was ready to record an album. She did - some 10 years later! Before recording her first album, Panton first completed an honours masters degree in French literature and fulfilled a teaching engagement at the University of Paris (France), followed by a position as a sessional lecturer at McMaster University (Canada). She then completed a teaching degree. During this time, she also produced and performed a number of sold-out concerts with emerging jazz prodigy, pianist David Braid. When the time finally arrived to go into the studio, national award-winning guitarist Reg Schwager was invited to join Don Thompson for some stellar accompaniment behind Panton's vocals. The result: Panton was featured on the covers of Toronto's Now Magazine (Feb 2006) and Hamilton's View Magazine (July 2005). Her debut release, Yesterday Perhaps, appeared on the Top 10 discs of 2005 in Toronto's Now Magazine, Earshot! and the Montreal Mirror. The album was also nominated for four Hamilton Music Awards for which it won "Best Jazz Recording" and the publicly voted "Best Live Performance" for the CD release concert. Reputed Montreal jazz critic Len Dobbin pronounced the album one of the finest debut CDs he had heard in years. Her much awaited sophomore release, If the Moon Turns Green..., was released in September of 2007. It was selected as a Top 10 Canadian Recording of the Year by Len Dobbin, Kathya Heppell and Dan Sich. It earned her recognition as the "Best Female Vocalist" at the 2008 Hamilton Music Awards and a nomination in the same category at the National Jazz Awards in 2008 and 2009. The album was also a first place jury selection which allowed Panton to perform at the prestigious Jazz a Juan Revelations 2008 (Juan-les-Pins, France) where she was voted "Premiere Dauphine" by the Juan public. In 2009, the album was nominated for Jazz Album of the Year at the National Jazz Awards and Best Vocal Jazz Album at the JUNO's. Heralded as one of Canada's most promising jazz vocalists, Panton's aesthetic sense has attracted the attention of some of the jazz world's most respected masters. She has performed with international jazz luminaries including Guido Basso, Mike Murley, Phil Nimmons, and Kenny Wheeler, and was a featured soloist with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Akido Endo. Be it at jazz festivals in Vienne (France), Freiburg (Germany), Montreux (Switzerland), or a concert in her hometown of Hamilton, wherever Panton performs, she has a mesmerizing effect on her audience. A quiet hush descends over the room as listeners await "little masterpieces created before [their] very ears." (Hugh Fraser, Hamilton Spectator) Official website: http://www.DianaPanton.com

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