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date: 16 July 2020

Laine, Dame Cleo [Campbell, Clementina Dinah]locked

  • Paul Rinzler
  •  and Henry Pleasants


[Campbell, Clementina Dinah]

(b London, Oct 28, 1927). English jazz, popular and concert singer, and wife of John Dankworth. Born of West Indian and English parents, she began singing at the age of three. In 1952 she joined the John Dankworth Seven; shortly after marrying Dankworth (1958) she left his group and began a very successful stage career, though she remained active as a singer. In 1969 she and Dankworth founded the Wavendon Allmusic Plan, an educational institution devoted to all styles of music. They performed together again in 1971, and in 1972 toured Australia as well as undertaking the first of a series of tours of the USA. Dankworth also worked as her arranger, composer and musical director.

Laine has recorded and performed opera, lieder and pop music as well as jazz, and in the 1980s was the only singer to have been nominated for Grammy awards in the female popular, classical and jazz categories. As a jazz singer she is both an interpreter and an improviser, and her scat singing, accompanied by Dankworth on alto saxophone or clarinet, is particularly noteworthy. Her contralto voice is capable of great variety of colour, and has an extraordinary upward extension in falsetto to ...

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