Review: Dianne Reeves closes the Melbourne International Jazz Festival as only she knows how

There’s nothing quite like ending your week with something a little sultry, a little bit tantalising, and a little bit jazzy. On Sunday night, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival wrapped things up for another year and who better to do that than the one and only, Dianne Reeves. The Grammy Award winning jazz artist has ventured to our shores a few times before but this was a first for me, and I say this with no hesitation at all – SHE IS IT AND A BIT!!!!

Performing to a packed out Hamer Hall with her four-piece band made me so, so happy. She is a gift to this world, a woman of 61 years who is still on this Earth sharing with us her warmth, her stories and continually building on her legacy. The one-act show was exactly what I needed; a dose of that soul fulfilling, head bopping, rhythmic cocktail of improvised jazz. Not all of the show was improvised but there were moments where Reeves let her band do their thing. It was astonishing.

The evening was filled with songs from her various albums, covers of pop classics and standards from the film Good Night, and Good Luck directed by George Clooney. Reeves had some wonderful memories to share about her short time with Mr Clooney, and that was one thing I really loved about her performance; she is funny and down to Earth, able to connect with anyone from any walk of life.

Reeves had an overarching message throughout her show, and that was – there is one love, one light, to be good to one another and most importantly, that there are more positive people in the world than those who want to destroy it. She really tugged at the heart strings there even ending the evening on her gorgeous rendition of Mali Music‘s song, ‘Beautiful’. Hamer Hall was lit up with everyone’s lighters and it was the kind of magic that shows the power of music.

Her brassy dulcet tones fill the room as her fluttering highs fill our hearts. Dianne Reeves has the power to unite people and the world, and that is exactly how her music made me feel – like anything was possible.

The reviewer attended the show on Sunday June 11th.


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