Ranee Lee

Brooklyn born, Ranee Lee is now celebrating forty-eight years in Montreal, where she enjoys a successful, multi-faceted career as one of Canada’s most popular jazz vocalists.  An award-winning actress, teacher and songwriter, she is a member of the Order of Canada and a proud author of children’s books. Ranee has recorded 13 albums for the Justin Time label (winning the JUNO Award for 2010’s Lives Upstairs) – an illustrious discography of acclaimed recordings that feature some of the finest jazz musicians of our time among its sidemen. Throughout her career, Ranee has performed with many jazz notables, including Clark Terry, Terry Clarke, Bill Mayes, Herbie Ellis, Red Mitchell, Milt Hinton, Oliver Jones, John Bunch and George Arvanitas. 

A Dora Mavor Moore Award winning actress, Ranee starred in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Canada’s first production of the musical portrayal of Billie Holiday. Her subsequent recording, Deep Song, featured label mate Oliver Jones and well as Milt Hinton, bassist with Billie Holiday. The recording was met with acclaim, bringing Ranee’s voice to the attention of jazz fans and concert producers throughout the world. 

Her latest touring show is the production Dark Divas, (from her album of the same name) which Ranee wrote and performs in, it is a musical about the lives of some of the most compelling women singers of the century.  The show honors the divas who have influenced her most in her career as a jazz diva herself. Featuring songs that were sung by Josephine Baker, Billie Holiday, Pearl Bailey, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald, Lee in no way apes the renditions by these great singers.  Joined by some of Montreal’s top musicians on this musical journey, Ranee puts her own special stamp on each song on the play list.