‘A beguiling soulfulness’
~Jazz Times, Jan/Feb 2017
Winner of the 2016 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, Deelee Dubé (pronounced Doo-bay, accented “é”) is a one of the most gifted vocalists to have emerged from the London scene in many years. Embodying a stellar African musical lineage, the eclectic tastes of a London upbringing and a deep love and respect for the jazz tradition, Deelee possesses what Jazz Times called ‘a warm tone, genuine blues feeling and easy rhythmic authority.’
Deelee’s late father was the famed South African jazz pianist Jabu Nkosi; her grandfather another legendary figure from the country’s music scene, saxophonist and bandleader Zacks (Isaac) Nkosi. Deelee was brought up with music all around her, and formed her first band at the age of 14. She attended the BRIT School for arts and music, and received formal voice sessions under Anton Browne later studying under vocalist Clare Foster, and forming the first of many musical relationships with jazz pianist Roland Perrin. She has most recently been under the private tutelage of Jazz vocalist and teacher Rachel Gould and Renato D’Aiello as a mentor.
A songwriter as well as a singer, Deelee has had her work reach the semi-finals of the UK Song writing (UKSC) Contest. She also teaches as a freelance voice coach and singing teacher, conducting one-to-one sessions under her business 'Vocal Insight™', based around the Estill Voice Training System. Her sessions combine her own experiential knowledge with music theory. Deelee is also a poet, and her work has been published in Write & Shine (Poetry Now Young Writers Book, 1995) and the Book of Dreams (United Press, 2010).
A regular performer at the legendary London venue Ronnie Scott’s with saxophonist Renato D'Aiello, Deelee has played at the Hackney Empire, The Queen Elizabeth Hall, The Troubadour, Pizza Express (Dean St.) Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, 12 Bar, Bush Hall, Caffe Chioggia (Venice, Italy), the Royal Albert Hall, 606 Club, The Troubadour, and many other venues large and small. She has appeared in music videos for Florence & The Machine and BarclayCard, and in April 1998 performed in the chorus of Mark-Anthony Turnage's Greek at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.