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Diane Nalini
Hometown: Ontario
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Singer/songwriter Diane Nalini's latest project puts a uniquely modern spin on the words of William Shakespeare. Her latest CD "Songs of Sweet Fire" is a collection of fifteen sonnets and songs from the plays set to her original jazz, funk, and blues music.

"It was very important to me to let the phrasing of his words dictate the style of music I wrote for each song. I decided to set only those songs which were in more modern sounding English, to highlight the timelessness of Shakespeare's words," says the singer of her new compositions. "Songs of Sweet Fire" is Diane's third album.

Diane started singing jazz at the age of three. She was born in Montreal, Canada, and is of Belgian and Goan descent. "She captures jazz at its most sophisticated and joyous level," writes Elle Magazine Canada.

In a recent review of "Tales... My Mama Told Me", Irwin Block of the Montreal Gazette wrote: "Diane Nalini has the voice, the phrasing, confidence, clarity and control to make a tune her own and turn it into a nuanced thing of beauty."

Her debut album "After dusk" was described by London's Time Out magazine as "a gorgeous collection, sung with quiet enunciated power". "Her artistry shines through on two wide-ranging albums, After Dusk and the newly released Tales... My Mama Told Me", writes Canada's Globe and Mail.

While breathing new life into jazz standards, she also performs her own compositions, as well as Brazilian songs and French chanson.

She has performed for President Bill Clinton, Sir Paul McCartney, the President of Malta, the Canadian High Commissioner to London, and former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke. Diane was nominated for the Grand Prix de Jazz General Motors at the 2002 Montreal International Jazz Festival, and was one of two finalists for the UK's Young Jazz Vocalist of the Year awards for 2001.

In October 2005, she opened for legendary 3-time Grammy winning songwriter Jimmy Webb at Guelph's River Run Center. The Kitchener-Waterloo Record wrote: "Nalini made an auspicious Guelph concert debut," calling her "a gifted arranger and vocalist." More recently, she had the pleasure to perform with the wonderful David Knopfler (founder of 'Dire Straits') for the North American launch of his album 'Ship of Dreams'.

Diane studied Chinese watercolour painting and calligraphy for 10 years with the late Virginia Chang. She exhibited and sold paintings with the Montreal-based Ting Sung Group. For her new album, Songs Of Sweet Fire, she painted 16 original watercolour paintings inspired by the mood of the songs. They accompany Shakespeare's lyrics in a full-colour, deluxe 20 page booklet. "I wanted to give something extra to all my wonderful, supportive fans. Something connected to the songs in a unique way."

She went to England on a Rhodes Scholarship and obtained a doctorate from the University of Oxford. She has since returned to Canada and has taken up a faculty position at the University of Guelph, Ontario.

Diane can be heard regularly on CBC Radio and Espace Musique, and has also been featured on BBC Radio 3, and Danish and Brazilian radio stations.

Diane Nalini
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