A musician of stunning range and complexity, Peggy Duquesnel's achievements in music are a testament to her incredible devotion to the art of music. The recording projects and concerts that have been part of her musical journey run the gamut from pure elegance to down-home jazz, and have teamed her up with some of today's most sought after musicians. Duquesnel has performed as featured pianist/vocalist with the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra, toured as keyboardist with Dionne Warwick, performed as featured keyboard artist for the Roland Corporation U.S. and Kawai America Corporation, performed at numerous events for the Disney Corporation, and served as keyboardist for both the Anaheim Angels and the Mighty Ducks. Peggy has recorded with numerous artists including Hernry Mancini, Monica Mancini, Pocket Change, David Patt and Ric Flauding. L.A. Times Calendar Section September 7, 2001 This Festival Will Jazz Up Brea Events * Peggy Duquesnel leads her quartet on opening night of the city-sponsored series, which focuses on Orange County luminaries. BY BILL KOHLHAASE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES New York, New Orleans and Los Angeles are the centers of the jazz universe. But Orange County has it's own galaxy of local jazz stars. They will shine when the city of Brea presents the Brea Jazz Festival today through Sept. 29th. Free performances are scheduled in the city's downtown for Friday and Saturday nights and Wednesday lunchtimes. Sponsored by the Brea Community Hospital and jazz radio KLON-FM (88.1), the groups--assembled by the Orange County Musicians Assn. Local 47, American Federation of Musicians--include combos, big bands and eclectic ensembles. Festival organizers want to showcase the depth of the local scene and it's quality. No one better represents that quality, they say, than longtime Orange County resident Peggy Duquesnel, who leads her quartet in the series opener tonight. Duquesnel, a pianist, vocalist and songwriter, attended Canyon High School in Anaheim Hills where, as a clarinetist, she was president of the school's band program and homecoming queen. A familiar presence in O.C. and Los Angeles jazz clubs, she studied classical piano at Cal State Fullerton before launching a professional career. 'I think it's great [the Brea Festival] will promote Orange County musicians,' Duquesnel said. 'And it's good exposure for the local performers. I think the festival will reach a broader audience with lots of families attending rather than just your typical jazz fan.' In 1991, Duquesnel recorded 'Old Friends,' a collection of her jazz originals with a group that included renowned bassist John Patitucci, then an Orange County resident. (The album has recently been remastered and re-released. Duquesnel will hold an album release party for it at Steamers Cafe in Fullerton Sept. 20.) In 1997, she was selected to be Dionne Warwick's accompanist. She spent more than a year touring with the well-known singer and still substitutes in Warwick's ensemble. Duquesnel has also worked with singer Monica Mancini and her father, Henry Mancini. 'We were laying down some track music for a Julie Andrews project, and [Henry Mancini] and I just clicked,' Duquesnel recalled. 'He was very supportive of what I did. It was great to sit side by side on a piano bench with a person like that and hear him say these positive things about my playing.' In 1999, Duquesnel employed one of her former jazz piano instructors, Natalie Cole arranger Alan Broadbent, to write orchestral backing for her first recording as a vocalist, 'What Is Love?' A lush, romantic album that included drummer Jeff Hamilton of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, it received favorable attention and was compared to the work of one of Duquesnel's longtime friends, singer Diana Krall. Jazz fans aren't the only ones familiar with Duquesnel's work. She has been the organist-keyboardist for the Mighty Ducks for eight years, and she played at Angels games at Edison Field the last four. She'll take a leave of absence from the Angels game tonight to play in Brea. Duquesnel's quartet will include Laguna Hills-based bassist and record producer Mike Peak and Los Angeles musicians drummer Dick Weller and saxophonist Ann Patterson. The pianist promises a variety of material and will sing a number of tunes. On Saturday, the series continues with big band swing music from the Big Shots directed by Ken Treseder and featuring vocalist Johnny Fabulous, known in his hometown of Fullerton as Kirk Wall. The first Wednesday lunch concert boasts John Noreyko's tuba-fired, neo-bop ensemble Tubop, with it's unusual instrumentation and wide-embrace of styles. Future shows include the seven-piece jazz band the Side Street Strutters on Sept. 14; saxophonist, arranger and Golden West College instructor Tom Kubis' big band on Sept. 15; Dave Wells' 11-piece jump band Swingtown out of Newport Beach, vocalist Miss Rickey Nero on Sept. 22; the 16-piece big band of Santa Ana-based Norm Major on Sept. 28; and the award-winning Cal State Fullerton Jazz Ensemble, directed by Chuck Turnlinson, on Sept. 29. Wednesday concerts feature drummer Matt Johnson's trio on Sept. 19 and Gerry Schroeder's contemporary band Whizzard on Sept. 26. * Brea Jazz Festival Concerts will be held on the Main Stage at the Gateway Promenade on Birch Street at Brea Boulevard in downtown Brea. Friday and Saturday concerts are 7-10 p.m. Wednesday concerts are 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Information: (714) 990-7600. Reviews: The Orange County Register POP MUSIC Friday, July 9 1999 JAZZ - Peggy Duquesnel 'Where Is Love?' MPD Productions Fortunately for her, the Anaheim Angels' organist is doing better than the team. Much better. Peggy Duquesnel, known mostly for fills and effects at Edison Field and Arrowhead Pond as well as session work, emerges here as a bona fide jazz pianist and singer in a consistently pleasing, 14-song collection. An intelligent blend of vocals and instrumentals, small-group cuts and full-orchestra arrangements under the baton of Alan Broadbent, the disc sustains many moods and is one of those that will surely wear well. Duquesnel's clean, wide-ranging voice doesn't sound particularly like any other singer's. She can be sweet and pure when appropriate, than mournful and jazzy. Her melancholy style is particularly effective on 'Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most,' a difficult tune that she turns into a mini-masterpiece. Other vocal standouts include 'Every Time We Say Goodbye,' which has been previously rendered by everyone from Nina Simone to Carly Simon. Duquesnel gives it a nice personal touch. And don't miss the sensitive reading of the title tune, inspired by an early hero of the singer, Irene Kral. Instrumental highlights include a lilting 'It Might As Well Be Spring'; the lovely 'Icarus ' a passionate performance worthy of, say, an Eliane Elias; and Miles Davis' 'Tune Up,' featuring a thoughtful, idea-filled piano solo as part of a rendition that drifts effortlessly between bebop and bossa nova. It's also a showcase for Duquesnel's top-flight accompanists, bassist Tom Warrington and drummer Jeff Hamilton. And Duquesnel's compositional skills are evident on the original 'Hotel Blues,' a funky, catchy number that could have been written by Charlie Parker. The album just oozes sincerity and is one of the finest debut efforts by anybody in years. L.A. Jazz Scene C.D. Review from 9/99 PEGGY DUQUESNEL Where Is Love? MPD Productions Pianist Peggy Duquesnel has a way with standards that recalls the stellar trios of Bill Evans, Hal Gainer, and Martial Saint. Her more-than-capable assistance from bassist Tom Warrington and drummer Jeff Hamilton brings the listener a swinging set of arrangements that includes 'Stella by Starlight,' 'Invitation,' Clifford Brown's 'Joyspring,' Miles Davis' 'Tune Up,' Freddie Hubbard's 'Up Jumped Spring' and the pianist's own 'Hotel Blues.' Duquesnel also sings several numbers that have been arranged by Alan Broadbent for a large studio orchestra. While the vocal selections seethe with dramatic instrumental overtones, there's an absence of swing and a coolness that Duquesnel displays naturally at the microphone. Recall that the title tune, Lionel Bat's 'Where Is Love?' was portrayed in the musical 'Oliver' with a frail sensitivity, holding back tears. Peggy Duquesnel presents her vocal selections with the same kind of emotion, sacrificing swing for a cooler presence. Each of her piano trio selections, on the other hand, swing out with an appropriate three way attack that welcomes the arrival of this local pianist on the jazz scene. -Jim Santella Bob's Beat - L.A. Jazz Scene, September 1999 by Bob Comden PEGGY DUQUESNEL AT CATALINA'S A good-sized crowd came out on a Monday night to hear pianist vocalist /songwriter Peggy Duquesnel as she debuted her brand new CD, 'Where is Love?' on the MPD label. Duquesnel is a very talented performer with a very pretty voice. She sings many styles with good intonation and control and she is a competent pianist. She put on a good show, singing classic standards, jazz classics and originals. Backed by some topnotch musicians, Tom Warrington on bass, Dick Weller on drams and special guests, Alan Broadbent on piano and Gary Foster on alto sax, Duquesnel got great support. The set opened with a lively version of 'Invitation.' Duquesnel gave it a happy feel, playing with authority, drive and lots of space. Warrington and Weller were excellent. They next did an interesting rendition of 'Up Jumped Spring,' done in a waltz tempo. A very hip version as the rhythm cooked! Duquesnel had a lot of brightness in her playing, using lots of singular notes, while Warrington dug in on his outstanding solo and Weller used brushes with great style. The more contemporary sounding 'Icarus' had lots of fast runs. It had a jazz-rock feel to it, like something Mangione might do. An original by Duquesnel, 'Hotel Blues,' had a cry funky, down-home flavor. 'Joy Spring' and 'Tune Up' were some of the jazz classics the trio grooved on. 'Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most' was beautifully sung by Duquesnel. Mike Peak, the producer of the CD, came up and played bass, on a tune he wrote for his wife, Lucy, as Duquesnel sang the lyrics in a soulful mood. Broadbent played piano as Duquesnel sang 'Where Is Love.' Broadbent has the right touch; he was marvelous. Warrington and Weller rejoined the group with Gary Foster, who wailed on his alto on 'Everytime We Say Goodbye.' 'It Could Happen to You' was another lively piece, with Foster sizzling on his solo. 'It Might As Well be Spring' closed out the set and a very enjoyable show. I wish Duquesnel a lot of success with her new CD. EVENING OF JAZZ: New Zealand's Los Angeles-based, i internationally acclaimed jazz pianist and arranger Alan Broadbent and rising American jazz singer Peggy Duquesnel in action with members of the Auckland Philharmonia in Auckland at the weekend. The two jazz stars, plus the Philharmonia, will present an evening of sophisticated jazz at Whangarei's Forum North tonight. Broadbent has played with, and arranged for, many of the giants of world jazz, including trumpet legend Chat Baker, Leo Konitz and Henry Mancini. Duquesnel has made many recordings and television appearances. A skilled pianist as well as vocalist, she has backed singers such as Dionne Warwick. The performance was being sponsored by the Northern Advocate. US/NZ JAZZ PAIRING: An American-based New Zealander, and a New Zealand visiting American team up for an evening of jazz. Ex-pat Aucklander Alan Broadbent and his Trio accompany rising young American jazz singer Peggy Duquesnel at the Aotea Centre on Saturday. Alan has been arranger and pianist for Band Leader Woody Herman, and has worked with musicians Lee Konitz, Chet Baker, Nelson Riddle, Johnny Mandel and Henry Mancini. A six-time Grammy Award nominee, he won the arranging award in 1997 for his version of 'When I Fall in Love' for Natalie Cole. He has worked on hundreds of recordings for other artists, recorded four of his own with his trio, a solo piano album and a duo album with saxophonist Gary Foster. His trio is completed by Frank Gibson, jr on drums and Putter Smith on double bass. Peggy has been hailed as a musician of stunning range and complexity. She is also a highly acclaimed keyboard player who has backed Dionne Warwick amongst others, has played piano on TV shows and has recently collaborated with Alan on an orchestral recording for which she sang, played piano and composed some of the music. A wide-ranging program includes works by Alan, Thelonius Monk, Cole Porter, John Coltrane and Rodgers and Hammerstein.
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