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June 10 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm



Diana Panton has quietly become one of the brightest lights on the jazz scene today. Her work has been consistently praised by listeners and music critics alike for her ethereal vocals, exceptional song selection and emotional intensity. “Her diaphanous vocal sound never insists and her high speed vibrato is like the beat of a hummingbird’s heart – natural, untainted and pure.” (Lesley Mitchell-Clarke, Wholenote Magazine)
Her keen aesthetic sense has attracted the attention of some of the jazz world’s most respected masters. When Order of Canada and legendary multi-instrumentalist Don Thompson first heard Panton sing at age 19, he recommended she audition for the reputed jazz workshop at the Banff Center for the Arts (Canada). There, she studied under Norma Winstone (and in subsequent visits, Jay Clayton and Sheila Jordan). “When the great singer Sheila Jordan said Diana Panton ‘sounds like the sweetest bird you’ll ever hear’, she helped define some of the ephemeral delicacy that marks Panton as unique.” (Stuart Broomer, Toronto Life)

Before recording her first album, Panton completed an Honours Masters degree in French literature and fulfilled a teaching engagement at the University of Paris (France), followed by a position as a French Sessional Lecturer at McMaster University (Canada). She then completed teaching qualifications in French, Visual and Dramatic Arts which would eventually lead to her current position at Westdale Secondary (Canada).

When the time finally arrived to go into the studio, national award-winning guitarist Reg Schwager was invited to join Don Thompson for some stellar accompaniment behind Panton’s pure vocals. The late great Montreal jazz critic Len Dobbin called …yesterday perhaps one of the finest debut CDs he had heard in years! It landed Diana on the covers of VIEW and NOW Magazine and the album made NOW’s TOP 10 Discs of the Year. The album was also awarded a Silver Disc Award upon its release in Japan in 2011.

On her latest release, solstice/equinox, Diana leads a stellar cast of Canada’s brightest luminaries, including three Order of Canada recipients: Guido Basso, Phil Dwyer and Don Thompson, plus four-time National Jazz Guitarist of the Year, Reg Schwager. The album is a collection of songs about the changing seasons. It went to #1 on the HMV Jazz Chart in Hong Kong, as well as Taiwan’s Books.com and Eslite where it ranked #2 in year-end sales for 2017. It was also voted one of the Top Albums of 2017 by ICI Musique. In 2018, solstice/equinox was an Editor’s Pick in DownBeat Magazine.

Her name is Diana Panton and she has one of the loveliest voices I think I’ve ever heard … (One of Tim’s picks for the Top 5 Jazz Vocalists in Canada)
Tim Tamashiro, CBC’s Tonic

… the gloriously gifted Diana Panton has quietly developed into one of Canada’s premiere jazz vocalists.
TIm Perlich, CBC blogpost

Diana Panton est à mon avis l’un des trésors les mieux dissimulés du jazz canadien.
Frédéric Cardin, CBC/Radio Canada, espace.mu

Aesthetically wonderful!
Dr. Yusef Lateef, saxophonist, Jazz in July

She’s so soulful … I know she means every word she sings.
Sheila Jordan, Vocalist

Panton does, indeed, have a delightfully sweet (though never cloying) sound, a tonal purity that is arrestingly beautiful.
Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes Magazine

Hearing Diana’s voice is like catching the sound of a thrush in the middle of a long Canadian winter: it’s warm, sweet and pure.
Katie Malloch, previous host of CBC’s Tonic

Among the many new vocal stars on the jazz scene today, Diana Panton has special charms.
Kazutomi Aoki, Japan’sJAZZLIFE

[listening to Diana sing] I got the same feeling the first time I heard singers like Sheila [Jordan], Lee Wiley (at the 1954 Newport Jazz Festival), Helen Merrill and Irene Kral.
Len Dobbin, “Masterworks”Award for radio


June 10
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm