Denise Pelley has performed with orchestras as far afield as Portugal and Germany. But it was her debut Jazz cd “Trust the Moment”, recorded in 1998 that brought her to the attention of jazz lovers across Canada after its launch at an evening hosted by Shelagh Rogers at Toronto’s Top ‘O The Senator, an appearance on CTV’s Canada AM and airplay on CBC’s After Hours.
Denise has performed with many great artists including acclaimed trombonist Ray Anderson, Gospel/Blues legend Jackie Richardson and Flamenco guitarist Jesse Cook. She has opened for Aretha Franklin at the John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario.
Denise enjoys performing with symphony orchestras including Orchestra London with the London Jeans ‘n Classics series. On the festival circuit she has performed at the du Maurier Downtown Jazz Festival (Toronto), Ottawa Jazz Festival, The Royal Canadian Big Band Festival (London), Bluesfest (London), Waterloo Jazz Festival and Sunfest (London), among others.
Denise also enjoys acting and has been part of The Grand Theatre (London) seasons performing in the Fats Waller musical Ain’t Misbehavin’, Wang Dang Doodle with Denis Simpson and A Streetcar Named Desire. Denise’s one-woman show, Jazzabel premiered in September 2004 at the McManus Theatre (Grand Theatre), London, Ontario to sold out audiences! In October 2005 Jazzabel was performed in Washington, DC at the National Museum for Women in the Arts and in February 2006 to audiences in New York City at Urban Stages Theatre. As well, she was premiered in the February 2006 issue of O (Oprah Winfrey) Magazine.
Denise was honoured with being the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002. In 2003 she was named a YM-YWCA Woman of Distinction in the Arts and Heritage category. Denise won best jazz artists in London, Ontario’s Music Awards in 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2008 and the 2008 Jazz Artist of the Year Jack Richardson award. In April 2006 the Hyde Park Rotary presented her with the Paul Harris Fellowship Award, Rotary’s highest honour. In February 2009 the London Black History Committee honoured Denise with the Black Community Achievement Award in recognition of her accomplishments, contributions and support to her community.
Denise is a volunteer with Canadian Aid for Southern Sudan and travels to Sudan where she delivers a music and art camp to the Sudanese children.
Some proceeds from this concert will support Canadian Aid for Southern Sudan (CASS) and the Music & Art Camp it founded.