Denise Pelley is an award winning jazz vocalist based out of London, Ontario. She has performed with orchestras as far afield as Portugal and Germany and with many great artists including acclaimed trombonist Ray Anderson, Gospel/Blues legend Jackie Richardson and Flamenco guitarist Jesse Cook. She has opened for Aretha Franklin at the John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario.
Denise has performed at numerous festivals including the du Maurier Downtown Jazz Festival (Toronto), Ottawa Jazz Festival, The Royal Canadian Big Band Festival (London), Bluesfest (London), Waterloo Jazz Festival and Sunfest (London), among others.
She also enjoys acting and has been part of The Grand Theatre (London) seasons performing in the Fats Waller musical Ain’t Misbehavin’, Wang Dang Doodle with Denis Simpson and A Streetcar Named
Desire. Denise’s one-woman show, Jazzabel premiered in September 2004 at the McManus Theatre (Grand Theatre), London, Ontario to sold-out audiences! In October 2005 Jazzabel was performed in Washington, DC at the National Museum for Women in the Arts and in February 2006 to audiences in New York City at Urban Stages Theatre. As well, she was premiered in the February 2006 issue of O (Oprah Winfrey) Magazine. Denise’s recording credits include seven CD’s.
Denise is honoured with being the recipient of the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals. In 2003 she was named a YM-YWCA Woman of Distinction in the Arts and Heritage category. She has been named six times as the best jazz artist by London, Ontario’s Music Awards. In April 2006 the Hyde Park Rotary presented her with the Paul Harris Fellowship Award, Rotary’s highest honour. In 2008 and 2014 she won Jazz Artist of the Year at the Jack Richardson awards. In February 2009 the London Black History Committee honoured Denise with the Black Community Achievement Award in recognition of her accomplishments, contributions and support to her community. In April of this year she was inducted into the Jack Richardson London Music Hall of Fame.
Denise is a volunteer with Canadian Aid for Southern Sudan and has made seven trips to South Sudan where she helps to deliver a music and art camp for the children. She is also a volunteer with Educate the Children helping to raise funds for a school in Nigeria.