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World-renowned jazz, blues singer in Port Moody next week

Dee Daniels performs on Feb. 24, 2024, as part of the Inlet Theatre Music Series in Port Moody. Tickets are now on sale.

Dee Daniels knew she had become a big fish in a little pond.

She just needed a nudge from LeRoy Neiman to get her out.

The American artist was in Seattle to do a painting for the Mariners baseball team when he heard Daniels do an impromptu performance at a reception hosted by a mutual friend — an art dealer — in his honour.

Neiman had been a fan of Daniels, but had never heard her sing live.

Afterwards, he immediately pulled her aside and asked, “What are you doing here?”

She had to leave for a bigger city, the Minneapolis native insisted.

“I knew he was right,” Daniels remembered, “but I wasn’t sure where to go: I didn’t want New York or L.A. so I moved to Europe. And it was the best thing that I could have ever done for myself.”

From 1982 to ’87, while based in The Netherlands and Belgium, she grew personally and professionally, Daniels said, performing with top-notch jazz, blues and gospel acts around Europe and with touring bands from North America.

She was the vocalist on the bills of such legends as the Sir Roland Hanna Trio and the Tommy Flanagan Trio, among many others.

But after five years of the grind and knowing her parents in Seattle were getting older, Daniels returned to be closer to home.

“I started thinking about what it all meant,” she recalled. “If I don’t have someone to share this with, what does it mean? I worked around the globe. I saw incredible places and met incredible people, but when you come home to an empty house, it’s just you. There’s no nobody.”

In 1985, following an invitation to perform in Vancouver, when she met her soon-to-be husband, Daniels decided make Canada her new home.

Since then, she’s performed extensively; recorded; collaborated with artists, universities and jazz festivals; and reached out with charities.

Now, she has a star in BC’s Entertainment Hall of Fame “and I’m still on my honeymoon with my husband,” she laughed.


Port Moody show

Next week, Daniels will be in Port Moody to sing jazz, blues and gospel standards, as well as a few original tunes off her album with Denzal Sinclaire, Let It Shine! Let It Shine!. The recording was released last year by the Grammy award-winning Cellar Music Group — founded by saxophonist Cory Weeds of Coquitlam.

Her Feb. 24 program in Port Moody “gives me an opportunity to share an assortment of material that I really love,” she said.

Her performance with Miles Black on piano, Andre LaChance on bass and Dave Robbins on drums is part of the Inlet Theatre Music Series organized by veteran Port Moody musicians Bill Sample, a pianist whom Daniels met shortly after landing in Canada, and Darlene Cooper, with whom Daniels has also worked with on Marcus Moseley Music projects.

"We are thrilled to present Dee Daniels in concert at the Inlet Theatre,” Sample told the Tri-City News.

“Dee performs in major venues all over the world so to hear her in the City of the Arts in an intimate setting, it's definitely a special treat.”

For tickets to see Dee Daniels at the Inlet Theatre (inside Port Moody City Hall, 100 Newport Dr.) on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m., visit