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“THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT THE IMAGINATIVE WAY IN WHICH DENIELLE THINKS, CRAFTS AND CREATES MUSIC THAT IS UNDENIABLY HER OWN. 2017 HAS BEEN BLESSED.”
– DANI ELWELL, RADIO HOST FOR JAZZ FM 91.1
Denielle Bassels, Toronto based singer/songwriter, began down her musical path while working as an au pair (nanny) in Lausanne, Switzerland. Her charge, a young boy named Oswaldo, took lessons at one of Lausanne's most prestigious music schools, and it was here Denielle met the teachers, students, and artists who would introduce her to the local jazz scene. One fateful night out, at a jam session at the Hotel De Ville, an untrained Denielle sang a rendition of Ella Fitzgerald's "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" and quickly caught the attention of the musicians that would make up her first jazz combo.
"These musicians and I would take all our equipment to bars that had no band scheduled and would just set up without asking anyone. If the patrons liked the music we could stay – we always stayed!"
From jazz caverns to international music festivals she ended up performing all across Switzerland and France where she discovered jazz manouche and the Django Reinhardt style of swing music. Audiences were captivated by the tall striking Canadian brunette and club owners kept booking her back, again and again. Denielle however yearned for something more, a deeper foundation to create from. So after two years of working and performing in Europe, Denielle returned home to Canada and enrolled in Humber Colleges contemporary music program. It was here she found her new band and before long was holding residencies at some of Toronto's finest jazz clubs. Her country may have changed, but the captivated audiences remained; Denielle was once again making a name for herself as a vocalist and performer. Still however, she was looking for more, and that's when she fell into songwriting. She wrote her first original song "Cool Cool Water", which went on to win Grand Prize in the International John Lennon Song Competition, while later five more originals went on to win finalist. With these accolades she was awarded grants from the Toronto Arts Council, and the Canada Council of The Arts to fund her first full-length album "What About Wool Wishbags" which was released in early 2017. Full of whimsy and charm, it is a story-laden volume of original music set in scenes of swing, indie, folk, and blues. She has since been touring across Ontario and Quebec performing private events, renowned jazz clubs, and major jazz festivals with her unique brand of indie-swing played by her beloved bandmates, and friends.