Situated on Vancouver Island, the little town of Nanaimo, British Columbia, has staked its claim on the music history map over the past couple of decades by being the hometown of contralto jazz vocalist/pianist Diana Krall. It all started with lessons in classical piano when Krall was only 4.
The aspiring talent dug deep into her father's record collection, falling in love with artists like Fats Waller. In high school, she joined the jazz band and, eventually, made her way to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Upon graduation, she tried out Los Angeles for a few years, then Toronto, before landing in New York City in 1990.
There, she formed a jazz trio and gigged around town. Her debut release on Justin Time Records, 1993's Stepping Out, caught the ear of producer Tommy LiPuma and GRP who issued her sophomore set, 1995's Only Trust Your Heart. For her third outing, All for You: A Dedication to the Nat King Cole Trio, GRP shifted Krall over to their Impulse! division. The collection earned her a Grammy nomination.
Gaining traction slowly and surely, Krall continued on with Love Scenes in 1997 and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas in 1998 with her trio that included guitarist Russell Malone and bassist Christian McBride.
In 1999, her real break-out started when the When I Look in Your Eyes album dropped which included orchestral arrangements by Johnny Mandel. Krall picked up a Grammy prize for Best Jazz Vocal Performance with a second win for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. The album was the first jazz set in 25 years to earn a nomination for Album of the Year.
Krall kept expanding her audience with appearances on Lilith Fair and with a 20-city tour with Tony Bennett the following year. Film and television uses of her songs also didn't hurt.
By 2001, Krall was positioned to really push on through with The Look of Love, and push she did. With arrangements by Claus Ogerman, the album cracked the Billboard Hot 200 and was ranked as the fifth best jazz record of the decade. Three Juno Awards added to the set's accolades. Krall supported the release with a world tour, one show of which was documented in Diana Krall – Live in Paris.
Two years later, Krall married Elvis Costello, collaborating with him on her next album, The Girl in the Other Room. It did well enough, though it didn't break any records. In 2004, Krall performed with Ray Charles on Genius Loves Company. The two dueted on “You Don't Know Me.”
Subsequent years saw the release of the holiday-themed Christmas Songs (2005), the ensemble standards collection From This Moment On (2006), and the bossa nova-tinged Quiet Nights (2009), the latter of which found her once again working with Ogerman. She also produced Barbra Streisand's Love Is the Answer in 2009.