Denise’s four recordings, Soul Shadows (Savant Records, September 2012), When Lights are Low (Savant Records 2010), What Lies Within (Savant Records 2008), and In the Company of Friends (Jazzed Media 2005), have consistently topped the National Jazz Week radio charts. Her GRAMMY® Nominated recording When Lights are Low peaked at #2 and remained on the chart for 23 weeks. It resurfaced 28 weeks later where it remained for another 7 weeks. Soul Shadows is another collaboration with 2 time GRAMMY® nominated pianist, composer, arranger, Geoffrey Keezer. KSJS-FM Radio Programmer, Dr. Brad Stone considers Soul Shadows to be “Simply her best work to date!” Denise also appears as guest vocalist on GRAMMY® Award Winner Bill Cunliffe's Christmas recording, That Time of Year. (2011). In addition to Denise’s 2010 GRAMMY® Nomination, The Los Angeles Jazz Society has honored Denise with their 2012 Jazz Vocalist of the Year award.
Denise tours extensively, performing at jazz festivals , jazz clubs, performing art centers, and with university jazz bands where she conducts master clinics. Donatelli’s innate musicianship and pure tone have won her spots singing for episodes of The Simpsons, television promos for Frasier, Card Sharks and Turner Classic Movies and has appeared in national and international commercials for CNN, Hyundai, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz among others. Growing up in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Denise's talent was discovered at the early age of three when she plunked out Silent Night on the family piano. By the age of four, Denise began studying classical piano. She was an active member of the Allentown Music Club along with area musicians including jazz pianist Keith Jarrett. She garnered numerous ‘Superior’ awards for her piano performances in the National Federation of Music Club’s regional piano competitions.
While piano study was a major part of Denise’s musical background, she always loved to sing and soon realized that her true passion was jazz and popular music. Placing her musical career aside in favor of motherhood, Denise found her voice again years later after relocating to Atlanta, Georgia. It wasn't long before she became immersed in Atlanta's jazz scene working by day at Turner Broadcasting System and singing at night with a jazz trio at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. A decision to move to Los Angeles in 2000, put her in touch with some of the city’s stellar musicians including Neil Hefti. Described as "a musician's singer" by GRAMMY® Award winning saxophonist, Phil Woods, Denise has performed as guest vocalist with Roger Kellaway, Terry Trotter, Christian Jacob's Big Band Theory, Alf Clausen's Jazz Orchestra, Les Hooper's Big Band and the Stan Kenton Alumni Band.
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