The Hollywood Bowl Hollywood, CA

Contact: Daniel Seeff - Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz / [email protected]

Web: darynndean.com

Players: Darynn Dean, vocals; Matthew Stubbs, clarinet; Devin Daniels, alto sax; Art Baden, tenor sax; Julien Knowles, trumpet; Javier Santiago, piano; Emiliano Lasansky, bass; Benjamin Ring, drums 

Material: Forming part of the 43rd annual Hollywood Bowl Jazz Festival, Los Angeles rising jazz vocalist Darynn Dean performed a fabulous set with UCLA’s Herbie Hancock Institute Jazz Performance Ensemble, showcasing her powerful artistry and confident stage presence. From original compositions to reworked classics, 2023’s graduating class ensemble demonstrated great maturity and a bold jazz sound, while clearly enjoying their moment.

Musicianship: Opener “The Destroyer” (clarinetist Matthew Stubbs’ original composition) delivered a fantastic clarinet intro and clear, strong vocals from Dean, which continued to grow throughout the set. A reworked rendition of “Say A Little Prayer” (Bacharach), arranged by Dean in collaboration with trumpeter Julien Knowles, presented a strong lower end vocal blend and a powerful use of space throughout the piece for a refreshing take on the classic tune. Knowles’ original “The Boot” was also showcased, along with “Blues for BM,” which unlocked fabulous bass lines from composer-bassist Emiliano Lasansky.

Performance: Throughout the set, Dean stood out as simultaneously appreciative, humble and confident, while taking a great command of the stage and holding the attention of the audience—not an easy feat for such an imposing venue. Her original composition, “Black Woman,” co-arranged by pianist Javier Santiago and bassist Emiliano Lasansky, brought an incredible soul flavor to her vocals and teased out the absolute sweet spot in her voice. She definitely got the crowd’s attention with this song.

Summary: With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Jazz Vocal Performance, having placed first in the National YoungArts Foundation, Dolo Coker and NAACAP ACT-50 competition, and as a finalist in The Music Center Spotlight Awards, Dean has already performed with artists Freddie Cole, Dave Holland, Dave Koz, Hubert Laws and Aaron Parks. Dean’s fresh vocal jazz sound and engaging presence and performance persona, alongside her luminous stage demeaner, are spellbinding. Darryn Dean is a definite rising jazz star to watch.