There are some unspoken rules in the jazz world. Rules that say acoustic-oriented jazz musicians are not supposed to have platinum and gold albums or sell out large auditoriums night after night. Rules that say straight-ahead jazz releases are not supposed to reach the top of Billboard's pop charts. Rules that say jazz artists shouldn't expect to receive standing ovations at Lilith Fair or compete with Santana, TLC, the Backstreet Boys, and the Dixie Chicks in a GRAMMYÂ® category.
For the past ten years, Diana Krall has been breaking these rules and demonstrating that a jazz musician can enjoy mass appeal without sacrificing her jazz foundation. Not only has the Canadian singer/acoustic pianist become the top-selling artist on the Verve roster, she has become jazz's top selling vocalist as well. She is a crossover phenomenon who has remained faithful to her bop and swing roots.
Born in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Krall began studying the piano when she was only four. She was raised on jazz, and by the time she was 15, was performing standards in a local restaurant/bar. Krall was still a teenager when she was awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. After two years in Boston, she moved to Los Angeles, where she met some jazz heavyweights, including John Clayton, pianist/singer Jimmy Rowles, and the late bassist Ray Brown (who gave her a great deal of encouragement and ended up playing on some of her 1990s albums).
Krall had been in LA for three years when she moved to Toronto, and it was a Canadian label that gave the singer/pianist her first chance to record. In 1993, the Montreal-based Justin Time Records released Krall's debut album, Stepping Out.
In 1998 and 1999, the success that When I Look in Your Eyes enjoyed was astounding. In addition to spending 52 weeks in the #1 position on Billboard's jazz chart, the album won GRAMMYsÂ® in two categories: Best Jazz Vocal Performance and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. Plus, When I Look in Your Eyes received a GRAMMYÂ® nomination in the Album of the Year category. When I Look in Your Eyes went platinum in the United States (where it sold over one million units), double platinum in Canada, platinum in Portugal, and gold in France. And in 2000, it won a Canadian JUNO Award for Best Vocal Jazz Album.
When The Look of Love was released in September 2001, it entered the Billboard 200 at #9 and sold 95,000 copies in the U.S. alone in its first week. In addition to going quadruple platinum in Canada and platinum in Australia, New Zealand, Poland, and Portugal, The Look of Love has gone gold in France, Singapore, and England.
At Canada's JUNO Awards, The Look of Love was a winner in three categories: Best Artist, Best Album, and Best Vocal Jazz Album. Krall also received the Order of British Columbia in 2000 for being a good-will ambassador for British Columbia and epitomizing Canadian culture.
One of the world's greatest jazz talents, Krall frequently acknowledges her roots in Nanaimo and she also joined Ray Charles on his Genius Loves Company album in 2004 on the song, "You Don't Know Me".
In late May 2007, Krall was featured in a Lexus ad campaign. She also sang, "Dream a Little Dream of Me" with piano accompaniment by pianist Hank Jones.
Quiet Nights, her latest album, was released on 31 March 2009.
Krall also produced Barbra Streisand's album Love Is the Answer, released on 29 Sep 2009.