Three great singers with roots in black church music were featured in concert singly and together at Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend last July. "Raising Voices" featured Dee Daniels, Cedric Dent and Niki Haris each singing a pair of songs and joining for the finale in the concert which brings together spirituals, blues and jazz and demonstrates their common heritage. Accompanying the singers were Sullivan Fortner, piano, Jon Hamar, bass and Joe LaBarbera.
Dee Daniels began singing in her stepfather's Baptist church in Oakland and early in her career sang and played piano R & B and jazz groups in Seattle, going on to an international career that for a time was based in the Netherlands and Belgium, later New York and more recently, Vancouver B.C. She also plays piano on one tune in her set here. Cedric Dent is best known as a member and co-producer of the vocal group Take 6. He is also an arranger and educator. Dent currently teaches at Middle Tennessee University and has composed for chorus and orchestra. Niki Harris' first professional appearance was with her pianist father, the late Gene Harris. She has worked as a soloist and back up singer in Pop, R & B and jazz, with artists ranging from Ray Charles to Beyoncé with whom she toured from 1987 to 2001.