Diane Delin is a violinist, composer, recording artist and educator. Her jazz work has earned her the Downbeat Magazine’s Critics Poll “Rising Star” category four times. She has also received such comments as: “Her elegance and expertise are always obvious,” from Jazz Times Magazine, while the LA Times prints, ”Delin produces improvisations of considerable style and unmistakable integrity.” St. Louis’ Sheldon Concert Hall gives her “Standing Ovation!” while the Chicago Tribune remarks, “Evocative performance… the way Delin and these musicians merge jazz rhythm with quasi classical instrumentation could lure both audiences.” Boston’s jazz critic Fred Bouchard adds, “She’s really a fine player with exquisite taste” and Cadence Magazine comments, “perfect for the museum music-series circuit … (music) most exquisitely realized.”
Diane’s performances have included a range from Ireland’s Cork Jazz Festival to Sunset-Sunside in Paris to Dubuque Iowa’s Clarke College, Jazz Ahead in Bremen Germany to New Orlean’s Snug Harbor to Chicago’s Jazz Showcase, the Kingston New York Jazz Festival to the Chicago Jazz Festival, WTTW PBS Centerstage Live Broadcast, Taste of Chicago, to Portland IN Performing Arts Series among many others.
Some violinists emulate horns, and some have come through the gypsy violin influenced swing style. In Delin’s hands, jazz violin cannot be easily classified. She has created her own unique voice on the instrument. That voice can be heard on her five cd releases. All of Diane’s recordings on the Blujazz label have received international airplay and reached the jazz charts in the US, with her 5th reaching #5. Her third release was named in the top 10 Chicago artist releases of the year by the Chicago Sun-Times.
Along with numerous favorable performance reviews and feature articles in publications internationally, Delin has also published articles on musical equipment and has even been sighted as a crossword clue in United Airlines in-flight magazine.
In addition to concerts, Diane presents clinics, master classes and residencies. Her participatory educational program, “Jazz Talk,” has been presented to thousands of students, giving them an overview of the evolution of jazz and encouraging them to improvise with the group. She also conducts master classes and leads clinics for educators. Her concert, festival and clinic appearances in the Midwest United States, are eligible for support by the Illinois Arts Council’s Arts Tour program and she was a Heartland Arts Fund touring artist when it was operational.
In addition to touring and recording with her own groups, Delin also does creative and commercial session work, including production and arranging. She produced Dee Alexander’s “Wild as the Wind”, (Blujazz) which earned the coveted 5 star review in Downbeat. She has also produced recordings involving the musicianship of such people as Frank Wess, Lou Solof, George Mraz and Ed Thigpen. She has also appeared on commercial “jingles” and in video gaming music.
As a “sideman” Diane has toured as part of the string section in the Frank Sinatra Orchestra from 1991-94, and has been a section player for a wide range of artists such as Manhattan Transfer, Ray Charles, Brian Wilson, Garth Brooks, Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight, and many others. Her history also includes a range from subbing for Chicago’s Grant Park Symphony, to playing with pop orchestras, playing festivals, concerts and live radio broadcasts with folk groups, to playing for weddings and corporate events,
Delin is a former governor of the board of the Midwest chapter of The Recording Academy (NARAS), and a member of the Chicago Local of the American Federation of Musicians and The American String Teachers Association (ASTA). She is Coordinator of Strings at Columbia College in Chicago, IL where she has been teaching jazz, classical, folk and pop strings since 2004.
Diane Delin grew up in Evanston, IL, a suburb bordering Chicago’s north side. She was 6 when she began studying piano, and began violin at age 9. Her first violin teacher was Samuel Aaron. She attended Evanston Township High School where she became concertmaster of the orchestra and performed the Bruch Violin Concerto with the orchestra in her senior year.
She later studied jazz with saxophonist Joe Daley, and earned a bachelor’s degree in music performance at Northwestern University (studying classically with Edgar Muenzer of the Chicago Symphony), and a masters in community arts management from the University of Illinois to better understand business dynamics in the music world.
Although Delin’s jazz interest was first piqued by violinists—Stuff Smith, Joe Venuti and country-swing violinist Vassar Clements, it was pianist Bill Evans Village Vanguard sessions that most inspired her to play jazz.