Tuesday, October 11, 2011
WNY Singer To Perform in October 14 Tralf Concert
Buffalo, NY— Tanya Diona, a Buffalo gal who has earned national renown as an award-winning vocalist with a “Grand Canyon-sized voice,” has come home to take center stage at The Tralf for the launch of her debut CD, Nothing to Prove… Something to Say. Diona is returning following triumphant appearances on Season 10 of American Idol, where she performed as one of the professional background vocalists with the Idol house band, Ray Chew Live. The gifted songstress acknowledges the significance of this moment in her career.
“I have been so blessed to have been a part of such prestigious and historic musical events, and to have had the honor of performing with such incredible world-famous artists and musicians,” Diona said, “but truly, there is no place like home. I am absolutely overjoyed to return to Buffalo and perform for the people of Western New York. It’s going to be an incredible night of music along with some stage time for local performers as well. I can’t wait!”
Diona’s CD Launch Concert will kick off at 8pm with an unusual opening act--- WNY performers who want to jump onstage and sing in an open mic setting. Sign-up for the open mic will take place at 7pm. Musical accompaniment will be provided by Diona’s writing partner and husband, Russell Graham, whose résumé includes keyboard and guitar responsibilities on American Idol, Showtime At The Apollo, the BET Awards, and BET Honors. Diona is also expecting a well-known musician and personal friend to be in attendance.
“I am thrilled that American Idol Music Director Ray Chew is planning to be our guest for the evening,” Diona said. “It’s really an honor to have him present for the show and it’s a dream come true to be able to showcase Buffalo talent. I’ve been telling colleagues for years about the wealth of musical talent in my hometown. So it’s exciting to be able to showcase that talent firsthand to someone of Ray Chew’s musical genius and achievement and whose support has been instrumental to my career.”
On Nothing to Prove... Something to Say, Diona has collaborated with her husband and with industry veteran Joey Diggs (vocalist and vocal arranger for Rick James) to craft a collection of songs that draw upon her Western New York roots, her Buffalo-area musical upbringing, and her New York City real-life experiences. The music features solid writing and powerhouse vocals that deliver an emotional punch, in a highly musical, groove-driven, r&b and funk style, but with a modern-pop sensibility. On Pandora radio (http://www.pandora.com/) Diona’s music is linked with such artists as Chaka Khan, Nikki Jean, Jazmine Sullivan, Faith Evans, and Sam Moore.
The October 14th Tralf show will fuse Diona’s stunning blend of songwriting and vocal performances with the amazing talents of prominent Buffalo musicians Kenny Hawkins (Rick James, Teena Marie) on guitar, “Big Mike” Porter (Rick James, Joe Public) on drums, and Joey Diggs and Sharon Banks on supporting vocals. Concert tickets are $20 in advance, $24 at the door and can be purchased at Ticketmaster (http://www.ticketmaster.com/) or at the Tralf box office (622 Main Street, Buffalo, NY / 716-852- 2860).
About Tanya Diona: Tanya was born in the Dunkirk-Fredonia area and began her professional singing career when she joined a reggae group in Buffalo. Soon she was singing a variety of styles of music with numerous bands from the WNY area, eventually leading her own band and being honored twice as the Buffalo Music Awards’ “Best R&B Female Vocalist.” It wasn’t long before Tanya headed to New York City where her popularity continued as she became a well-respected performer at music institutions like the Apollo Theater, where she won numerous competitions. Tanya and her husband and writing partner Russell Graham have enjoyed the unique privilege of both performing at a number of high-profile events including the 2008 Democratic National Convention, the 2009 Neighborhood Ball for President Obama’s inauguration (broadcast on ABC-TV), the 2009 European broadcast of the Save The World Awards concert from Austria, NBC’s hit television show The Singing Bee, and American Idol. As a member of Ray Chew's organization, Diona has been privileged to perform behind renowned recording artists including Beyoncé, Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw, Tom Jones, TLC, Jennifer Lopez, Constantine Maroulis, Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Shakira, John Legend, Melissa Etheridge, Barry Manilow, The Village People, Deborah Harry, Taylor Dayne, Tony Basil, Jermaine Jackson and The Pointer Sisters. http://www.tanyadiona.com/
About Russell Graham: Russell Graham has been studying piano since age 4, and began playing music professionally in the New York City area in his early teens. He has played keyboard and guitar for Rob Thomas, Matchbox 20, Jennifer Hudson, Jessica Simpson, Nile Rodgers, Patti Austin, Roberta Flack, and countless others, and most recently was part of Ray Chew’s band for Season 10 of American Idol. In his capacity as the Keyboard II / Guitar II “Utility” Musician with Ray Chew, Russell has had the unique opportunity to perform with an unusually diverse list of artists, on such shows as Showtime at the Apollo, The Singing Bee, the BET Awards and BET Honors, and President Obama’s inaugural Neighborhood
Ball; including Yolanda Adams, Anita Baker, Mary J. Blige, Chick Corea, Kirk Franklin, Gloria Gaynor, Al Green, Tom Jones, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Jennifer Lopez, Teena Marie, Michael McDonald, Ne-Yo, Prince, Shakira, Sting, James Taylor, Vanessa Williams, and Stevie Wonder. Russell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Harvard University. http://www.russellgraham.com/
About Ray Chew: Ray Chew has performed at the helm of award winning musical events – live and televised – with artists across every genre including Jennifer Hudson, Rihanna, Prince, James Taylor, Anita Baker, Queen Latifah, Barry Manilow, Ludacris, Smokey Robinson, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Aretha Franklin and Quincy Jones. In addition to being an industry staple for prime time musical events, Ray Chew has served as music director for Fox’s American Idol, bandleader and personality for several network television series including NBC’s The Singing Bee, BET’s Sunday Best, and the longest running syndicated television series - It’s Showtime At the Apollo. Ray’s vast recording career with top selling artists and scoring for film and television includes diverse recordings ranging from timeless artists like Diana Ross and Donny Hathaway to such current Grammy award-winning artists as Alicia Keys. http://www.raychew.com/