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Canadian Heritage

Ranee Lee


Ranee Lee (vocalist, educator) lives in Montreal. Born in New York City in 1942, Lee began her performing career as a dancer and later toured as a drummer and tenor saxophonist. Her performance as Billie Holiday in “Lady Day” earned her a Dora Mavor Moore award and was the launching point for her recordings as a vocalist. Lee also wrote produced and starred in the musical, “Dark Divas” featuring the lives of Sarah Vaughn, Dinah Washington and others. Known for her sensitive phrasing and great musicality, Lee has collaborated with many of Canada’s finest jazz musicians and been recognized with Juno nominations including 2005’s Just You, Just Me with Oliver Jones and a National Jazz Award for Album of the Year. Her work as an educator was recognized by the IAJE in 1994. She was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2006.

Ranee has performed a wide array of jazz artists including Clark Terry, Terry Clarke, Bill Mays, Herb Ellis, Red Mitchell, Milt Hinton, Oliver Jones, John Bunch, and George Arvanitas.

Ranee has been an active educator for over twenty years. She is currenly on faculty at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University and the University of Laval faculty in Quebec City. She received the International Association of Jazz Educators award in 2004 and 2008 for outstanding service to jazz education.

In 2014, Ranee released, What's Going On, her twelfth ablum for Justin TIme records. It features a broad range of material including songs by Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley, and Leon Russell, along with original compositions. The album features guitarist Richard Ring, saxophonist Chet Doxas, and the Birds on a Wire String Quartet.


1994 - JUNO nomination for 'Best Mainstream Jazz Recording' - I Thought About You
2010 - JUNO award for 'Vocal Jazz Album' - Ranee Lee Lives Upstairs