Offerings for a Peaceable Season (Blujazz)

Diane Delin

Released in 2011

WDUQ 10 Best Holiday Jazz




Diane Delin is a violinist, composer, recording artist and educator. Her jazz work has earned her the Downbeat Magazine’s Critics Poll “Rising Star” category four times.  She has also received such comments as: “Her elegance and expertise are always obvious,” from Jazz Times Magazine, while the LA Times prints, ”Delin produces improvisations of considerable style and unmistakable integrity.”  St. Louis’ Sheldon Concert Hall gives her “Standing Ovation!” while the Chicago Tribune remarks, “Evocative performance… the way Delin and these musicians merge jazz rhythm with quasi classical instrumentation could lure both audiences.” Boston’s jazz critic Fred Bouchard adds, “She’s really a fine player with exquisite taste” and Cadence Magazine comments, “perfect for the museum music-series circuit … (music) most exquisitely realized.”

​Diane’s performances have included a range from Ireland’s Cork Jazz Festival to Sunset-Sunside in Paris to Dubuque Iowa’s Clarke College, Jazz Ahead in Bremen Germany to New Orlean’s Snug Harbor to Chicago’s Jazz Showcase, the Kingston New York Jazz Festival to the Chicago Jazz Festival, WTTW PBS Centerstage Live Broadcast, Taste of Chicago, to Portland IN Performing Arts Series among many others.

Some violinists emulate horns, and some have come through the gypsy violin influenced swing style.  In Delin’s hands, jazz violin cannot be easily classified.  She has created her own unique voice on the instrument. That voice can be heard on her five cd releases. All of Diane’s recordings on the Blujazz label have received international airplay and reached the jazz charts in the US, with her 5th reaching #5. Her third release was named in the top 10 Chicago artist releases of the year by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Along with numerous favorable performance reviews and feature articles in publications internationally, Delin has also published articles on musical equipment and has even been sighted as a crossword clue in United Airlines in-flight magazine.​

In addition to concerts, Diane presents clinics, master classes and residencies.  Her participatory educational program, “Jazz Talk,” has been presented to thousands of students, giving them an overview of the evolution of jazz and encouraging them to improvise with the group.  She also conducts master classes and leads clinics for educators.  Her concert, festival and clinic appearances in the Midwest United States, are eligible for support by the Illinois Arts Council’s Arts Tour program and she was a Heartland Arts Fund touring artist when it was operational.

​In addition to touring and recording with her own groups, Delin also does creative and commercial session work, including production and arranging. She produced Dee Alexander’s “Wild as the Wind”, (Blujazz) which earned the coveted 5 star review in Downbeat. She has also produced recordings involving the musicianship of such people as Frank Wess, Lou Solof, George Mraz and Ed Thigpen.  She has also appeared on commercial “jingles” and in video gaming music.​

As a “sideman” Diane has toured as part of the string section in the Frank Sinatra Orchestra from 1991-94, and has been a section player for a wide range of artists such as Manhattan Transfer, Ray Charles, Brian Wilson, Garth Brooks, Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight, and many others.   Her history also includes a range from subbing for Chicago’s Grant Park Symphony, to playing with pop orchestras, playing festivals, concerts and live radio broadcasts with folk groups, to playing for weddings and corporate events,

Delin is a former governor of the board of the Midwest chapter of The Recording Academy (NARAS), and a member of the Chicago Local of the American Federation of Musicians and The American String Teachers Association (ASTA). She is Coordinator of Strings at Columbia College in Chicago, IL where she has been teaching jazz, classical, folk and pop strings since 2004.

Diane Delin grew up in Evanston, IL, a suburb bordering Chicago’s north side. She was 6 when she began studying piano, and began violin at age 9.  Her first violin teacher was Samuel Aaron. She attended Evanston Township High School where she became concertmaster of the orchestra and performed the Bruch Violin Concerto with the orchestra in her senior year.

She later studied jazz with saxophonist Joe Daley, and earned a bachelor’s degree in music performance at Northwestern University (studying classically with Edgar Muenzer of the Chicago Symphony), and a masters in community arts management from the University of Illinois to better understand business dynamics in the music world.

Although Delin’s jazz interest was first piqued by violinists—Stuff Smith, Joe Venuti and country-swing violinist Vassar Clements, it was pianist Bill Evans Village Vanguard sessions that most inspired her to play jazz.

Track Listing:

1. My Favorite Things (Oscar Hammerstein II / Richard Rodgers) 05:23

2. Baby It’s Cold Outside 03:27

3. The Dredyl Song (Traditional) 05:10

4. Deck the Halls (Traditional) 05:08

5. Japanese Counting Song (For the New Year) (Traditional) 05:14

6. Gloucestershire Wassail (Traditional) 06:08

7. Winter Wonderland 04:51

8. Overture from the Nutcracker Suite 05:47

9. Petit Papa Noel 05:21

10. Toyland 06:34

11. Sleigh Ride (Leroy Anderson) 03:21


Diane Delin: violin

Dennis Luxion: piano

Larry Kohut: bass (1-3, 6-7)

Eric Hochberg: bass (4, 5, 8-11)

Eric Montzka: drums & percussion

Recorded at Steve Yates Studio, Morton Grove, IL

Engineer: Steve Yates

Mastering: Alan Silverman

Cover Art: Michael O’Neal


Christmas albums are inherently handicapped by the seemingly limited number of potential songs and the frequent lack of imagination in the arrangements. But violinist Diane Delin was obviously aware of these pitfalls before entering the recording studio and came prepared, with an added twist by having Eric Montzka play hand percussion instead of a drum kit during a good part of the date. “My Favorite Things” gradually became an accepted holiday favorite, though this chart ventures into a lively Cuban setting. Bassist Larry Kohut substitutes his instrument for the male voice rejoinder to Delin’s violin (obviously taking the place of the female lead vocal) in the playful “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Even something commonplace like “Deck the Halls” is freshened up by inserting a brief vamp between the familiar lines and making it seem more like a stroll outside in newly fallen snow on a bright morning. The traditional New Year’s “Japanese Counting Song” may not be all that familiar to Western ears, but it adds an exotic touch, even if it may have difficulty catching on as a seasonal work in the New World. Both “Winter Wonderland” and “Sleigh Ride” are played in more traditional settings, though they swing like mad. Pianist Dennis Luxion provides superb accompaniment throughout the date. Not exactly a Christmas CD intended for playing at large functions, Diane Delin’s creative project deserves to be heard indoors in the company of just a few appreciative people, where the nuances of the date can truly be appreciated.

Ken Dryden (AllMusic)