BIOgraphy


 

"It doesn't get any better than this . . . One of the best young jazz singers in the country today. She's the Real McCoy."
- Tony Bennett

Donna Byrne is a jazz singer at the top of her game. With sultry good looks and a quick wit, Donna is not only a masterful singer, but also a true entertainer. She has performed with such renowned artists as: Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Herb Pomeroy, Dave McKenna, Dick Johnson, Frank Wess, Stanley Turrentine, Scott Hamilton, Bucky Pizzarelli, Ken Peplowski, Bill Cunliffe, Harry Allen, Gray Sargent, Carmen Cicero, Dave Frishberg, Eddie Higgins, James Williams and The Artie Shaw Orchestra. She has opened for such performers as Lou Rawls, Bob Newhart and was recently invited by the great Tony Bennett to open for him on his national tour (the “thrill of a lifetime” for Donna). Her unforgettable performances have entertained audiences from L.A. to London, wowing audiences at such venues as: Blue Note Jazz Club, Tavern on the Green, Blues Alley, Scullers, Regattabar, Jazz Bakery, The Rainbow Room, and London’s Pizza on the Park. She’s also toured Florida, performing with Herb Pomeroy, Dave McKenna and Ruby Braff. Her audiences have been filled with such luminaries as the legendary Margaret Whiting, who “thoroughly enjoyed Donna's performance,” and Tony Bennett, who dropped in for his birthday just to hear Donna sing his classic “It Was Me.” Mr. Bennett became an ardent fan, once flying home early from the Super Bowl just to catch Donna perform. 

 
 
 
 

Donna has recorded several albums for both Challenge Records and Arbors Records and has worked on recording projects for: Greg Abate, Billy Novick, Kenny Hadley, Dick Johnson and most recently, for Carmen Cicero. She has also had the pleasure of recording for Brad Hatfield, where her voice can be heard on songs featured on: One Life to Live, Rescue Me, and the indie film, Puccini for Beginners.

It’s no wonder why the late great Jazz artist Herb Pomeroy described her as his favorite living singer. And Jack Wolf, one of the composers of the song “I’m a Fool to Want You,” said her version of his song was the best he’d heard in thirty years. She has also gained the respect and admiration of other legends of the business such as: 

Ruby Braff: “Artistry that will always appear fresh … no phony affectations … Beautiful and completely believable. What more can you ask for?”

Barbara Lea: “Donna was simply enchanting … fiery and tender by turns. Latin, swing, ballads … this gal does it all and has few, if any, peers. She is unquestionably a very great singer … My hat is definitely off!”

Dave McKenna: “This thing that strikes me about Donna is that she’s got a nice sound. She’s got great intonation. She's just a damn good singer and a hell of a lady. She sings well all the time, but some nights she really sings the hell out of a ballad. She is one of my favorite singers.”

Donna has appeared on Sunday Open House, has won "Best of Boston Best Jazz Vocals,” and has been nominated multiple times for Boston Music Awards. She has garnered exceptional reviews from such publications as:

Jazz Times: “Donna Byrne (is) one of the best singers currently on the scene, one who approaches her lyrics with both intelligence and swinging time, and without distorting syllabic emphasis or resorting to stagy histrionics to get her meaning across.”

Cadence: “Peoples! Heads up! Pay attention! This is one fine Jazz Vocalist!!”

Jazz Journal International, London, wrote: “An American singer with class and commitment … a very good example of the genre.”

Jersey Jazz said: “Donna Byrne has everything a good singer needs … the voice, the control, the comprehension … She travels comfortably through a wide vocal range, with phrasing and inflection that extract all the meaning from the lyrics.”

Donna grew up with music in her blood. Encouraged by her father to sing and perform at the age of two, she first emerged as a professional singer on Cape Cod, where her talents caught the eye and encouragement of famed pianist, Dave McKenna. After a brief hiatus, Donna is back doing what she loves most: singing. Donna’s powerful voice, energetic personality, and life experiences give her music an almost spiritual feel, a soft and subtle charge which has brought admirations from jazz fans and the top artists in the industry.