DIONE TAYLOR (vocalist, pianist) was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. As a pastor’s daughter, she was born into a musical family who all sang and played instruments, often in church services, so music became an integral part of her life very early on. She began playing the organ at age four and at the tender age of ten, she became Musical Director and Organist at The Shiloh Assembly Church (Apostolic) in Regina.
A career turning point came when Taylor enrolled in the jazz program at Humber College in Toronto. There she excelled academically, receiving the College’s Thomas Kehoe Memorial Award for Outstanding Vocal Performance, and graduating with honors from the program in 2003. While completing studies there, she entered an international competition for jazz students and was selected as of one of six jazz musicians from around the globe for the “Jazz and the New Generation” program. Led by Dr. Billy Taylor, it was sponsored by The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and its winners performed at a prestigious concert on the Millennium Stage.
Taylor has sung in front of presidents and royalty. In June 2004, just two weeks after releasing her debut CD, she was invited to participate in a concert celebrating Black Music Month in the United States at the White House performing for the President and First Lady, and less than a year later she performed alongside other stars including Joni Mitchell for Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh and Joni Mitchell at the Saskatchewan Centennial Gala of the Arts.
The Dione Taylor Quintet performed in concert during the “Sound of Toronto Jazz” Series at the Ontario Science Centre on December 10, 2004. In 2005, she was part of the Women’s Blues Revue at Toronto’s famed Massey Hall, and the same year appeared at the Festival Internationale de Jazz de Montreal with soul divas Patti LaBelle and Anne Peebles, as well as the legendary Neville Brothers. In 2006, Taylor performed in tribute to Robbie Robertson at the Canadian Governor-General’s Awards Gala. In 2008, she performed Oscar Peterson’s ‘Hymn to Freedom’ with pianist Oliver Jones at the Gala when the song was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.
Her 2006 release “I Love Being Here with You” harnessed the talents of Jake Langley, Guido Basso, Denzal Sinclaire and Benny Green and was produced by Doug Riley and Sandy Mamane.
2004 – JUNO Awards Nomination for ‘Vocal Jazz Album of the Year’ (for debut CD. ‘Open Your Eyes’)
2004 – Vocalist for ‘Jazz and The New Generation’ project led by Dr. Billy Taylor
2004 – JAZZ.FM91 Top Recording of the Year Honors for ‘Open Your Eyes’
2005 – National Jazz Awards Nomination as ‘Female Vocalist of the Year’
2005 – Canadian Urban Award Nomination (for debut CD. ‘Open Your Eyes’)
2006 – National Jazz Awards Nomination as ‘Female Vocalist of the Year’
2006 – JAZZ.FM91 Top Recording of the Year Honors for ‘Open Your Eyes’
2007 – National Jazz Awards Nomination as ‘Female Vocalist of the Year’
2008 – Gemini Awards Nomination for her television performance of Oscar Peterson’s ‘Hymn to Freedom’ at the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala