Deanna Reuben

 

Deanna Reuben, concert vocalist and recording artist, has become one of the finest interpreters of the Great American Songbook working today.  To date, she has recorded four albums, the latest being a lively jazz holiday recording entitled “Christmas is Here,” released in 2013.

 

A member of The Recording Academy, Deanna was the sole producer of this album, which also features some of Philadelphia’s finest jazz musicians to compliment her impeccable vocals. 

 

Her first recording, “The Look of Love,” released in 2005, brought her high praise from critics and casual listeners alike.   Her sophomore album, “On Life and Love,” released in 2009 features two of her original compositions.  Teaming with R. Martin Mellinger, her haunting ballad “Here in the Night,” leaves her audiences mesmerized as she makes that soulful connection.  In 2012, Deanna released her third album, “The Very Thought of You.”   Inspired by the artistry of Chris Botti, this album features some lush lines as her voice weaves gently with flugelhorn and tenor sax.

 

Deanna Reuben fell in love with music at the age of seven, when she began taking piano lessons.  Reuben, who was named after vocalist and Judy Garland contemporary Deanna Durbin, found singing at the age of fourteen, and never had a second thought about what she wanted to do with her life.  Her career as a singer has run the gamut from Broadway to madrigals to opera, but Reuben’s versatility has been a key to her success.  Aside from her vocal talents, Reuben is an accomplished pianist, composer, arranger, voice teacher, and choral director.

 

Her young life, growing up in Berks County, Pennsylvania, was not always easy, as she was raised mostly by a single working mother and grandmother.  They struggled to make ends meet, and pay for voice and piano lessons.  She still has fond memories of her Wurlitzer spinet piano where she and her grandmother would spend lots of time playing and singing hymns together.  Her music was what brought her joy, when everything else in life was turned upside down.  Deanna was singing all throughout high school, winning competitions and garnering solo spots. 

 

Marrying quite young, by today’s standards, Deanna was blessed with two beautiful daughters.  When the girls were toddlers, she decided to finish her college degree, graduating from Alvernia College, now Alvernia University, with a Bachelor of Arts in Music.   “I would study when the girls went to bed, and arrange classes around their nursery school schedule.  Sometimes though, I had no choice but to take them to class with me.”

 

Being a classically trained singer, she thus began teaching voice, choral directing and performing with local theater and opera organizations.  It wasn’t until the next chapter of her life that her music career blossomed.

 

In the early 80’s she relocated to the Washington, DC area to pursue a dual career:  music and real estate. 

 

While maintaining a full time job in real estate, she followed her dream and became a professional soloist with the prestigious Washington Singers, and the former internationally renowned Paul Hill Chorale.  She shared the stage with artists such as Marvin Hamlisch, Yo Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman, and performed in venues such as The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, the Mann Center, and Wolf Trap.

 

Tragedy struck when she was diagnosed with some peripheral damage to her vocal chords as a result of neck surgery.  Unable to meet the vocal demands of classical artistry, she had to switch gears and find her new voice.  A long-time fan of the great American songbook, Reuben began to find this new voice amongst ballads from the golden era of Broadway and from such composers of Harold Arlen, Arthur Schwartz, Frank Loesser and Michel Legrand.  She was able to translate the conversational style of operatic recitatives to the jazz and Broadway standards that became her new forte, developing a distinctive and highly emotive style.  Deanna doesn’t so much sing to a crowd as engage in a musical dialogue, with a voice that’s been compared to Barbra Streisand, Diana Krall and Astrud Gilberto. 

 

Today she chooses performance venues of jazz clubs, performing arts centers, universities, private and corporate events.  Over the last several years, she has performed in the Berks Jazz Fest, one of the largest jazz venues in the country.

 

Deanna also maintains a voice and piano studio in Berks County, PA.    A long standing member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, she is currently developing a vocal course for seniors, designed to teach healthy vocal techniques to keep them singing into their 60’s and beyond.

 

Deanna derives great joy from producing and performing benefit concerts for non-profit organizations.  She has raised upwards of $16,000 in a single concert, and knows what it takes to produce a successful event. 

 

Giving back to her community isn’t something new for her, and she currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Alvernia University, and the Board of the Reading Symphony Orchestra. 

 

Reuben has shown an ability to combine the lyricism of Puccini with the panache of a stage performer and a personality and vulnerability that are innate, creating a near-perfect musical conduit for personal connections with her audience.  She has a tremendous sense of style and vocal talent, and the ability to interpret and convey songs with an authenticity and heart that is real.  She also has an incredibly lyric voice and a warmth of tone that combine to create an earthy beauty that is compelling.  It is that sense of personal veracity, however, that touches an audience, whether from the stage or through a set of speakers. 

 

Deanna Reuben may not be a household name.  Yet.