Subscribe to the newsletter to be kept informed of new releases...
Blossom Dearie was born on April 28 in New York City. From the age of two, she showed an interest in music, sitting at the piano on her mother's lap. A year later, she had decided to become a musician. Blossom Dearie began her first piano lessons at age five and it was at age ten, while living with her half-brother in Washington, D.C., that she was taught classical compositions by Bach and Chopin. Her progress impressed her teacher, who recommended that she study classical music at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore. However, she returned to East Durham and abandoned her classical studies.
Blossom Dearie first discovered jazz while playing in a high school band and knew she had found her life's calling. She absorbed the music of bandleaders Count Basie and Duke Ellington, and admired Martha Tilton, who sang in Benny Goodman's band. When Blossom Dearie graduated from high school in the mid-1940s, she moved to New York City.
Blossom Dearie's wispy voice, classical repertoire and quick wit have helped make her an artist with a distinct style for over 50 years. Lacking the vocal prowess of Ella Fitzgerald and the range of Sarah Vaughan, Blossom Dearie has made the most of her delicate voice by incorporating elements of cabaret into her style. She strengthened her approach with ballads borrowed from the classic songbooks of the Gershwins and Rodgers and Hart, as well as humorous songs by more recent writers like Dave Frishberg.
In 1983, Dearie became the first recipient of the Mabel Mercer Foundation Award, a $1,500 cash prize, and in 1993 she performed at the White House with Shirley Horn, Bobby Short and Mandy Patinkin.
Blossom Dearie disappeared on February 7, 2009 in Greenwich Village.