After describing her brilliant voice as a perfect mix of Nancy, Sassy, and Lady Day, it came only naturally that the late legendary jazz trumpeter Clark Terry would, at New York’s historical Flushing Town Hall, select Denise Thimes as that night’s featured vocalist.
This truly unique and inspirational artist is often asked by fellow noteworthy musicians “why haven’t we heard of you”? Not to worry. With a voice as noticeably (as Terry puts it) “ranks with all of the greats,” it won’t be long.
Over the course of a multi-faceted career spanning just a little under 3 decades, Thimes is no stranger to the music world, growing up in a home surrounded by all types of music from her father & radio icon, the late Lou “Fatha” Thimes.
Thimes has performed with such jazz notables as Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra,(St. Louis, MO) the late Clark Terry(The Blue Note-NY), Dr. Billy Taylor, Earl May, Benny Powell,(Flushing Town Hall) and James Moody(Blue Note-NY). She has also graced the stage with the likes of Houston Person, Jimmy&Tootie Heath, Bobby McFerrin, and Bucky Pizzarelli.
In recent years she has appeared and toured Paris with David Sanborn, sung for the Queen of Thailand(Mandarin Oriental Hotel), Queen Elizabeth II(British Embassy-Washington D.C. (during her 2009 visit to the U.S), President George W Bush(White House 2007), and was hand picked by the Queen of Soul(Aretha Franklin) to perform for her 72nd birthday celebration ( 2015-Ritz Carlton, NY).
Most say that her acting is just as great as her singing and founding director Ron Himes of the St Louis Black Repertory would agree. Thimes has received 8 Woodie Awards( named after Freedom Theatre Founder-Woody King-NY) for her roles as lead and supporting for acting, and musical performances.
Although a native of St Louis, MO Thimes, has recently became a resident of Chicago IL, where she can be seen at Winter’s jazz club downtown Chicago.
When Denise is not performing, Thimes wears another hat and is equally passionate as Founder & Executive Director of the Mildred Thimes Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.(named after Thimes mother). Thimes continues to appeal for more education and awareness for this fatal disease that struck her mother in 1997.
Thimes has truly been one of the cherished voices of modern jazz.
Whether headlining at Dizzy’s Coca Cola Room in New York, or conquering the national jazz festival scene, or sharing the stage with the legendary Tony Bennett, Denise Thimes has an unmistakable tendency to steal the show and astonish crowds of every size and background. As jazz aficionado Phoebe Jacobs stated following another famed New York show, “Denise Thimes is like Ella and Sarah born all over again.” It’s time for you to experience Denise Thimes.
"After hearing Denise Thimes for the first time, I became a fan. She has a full, rich, beautiful voice and is a prodigious storyteller."
"Denise ranks with the all-time greats such as Ella, Sassy, Lady Day, Nancy, Dianne, Monica, and Carmen, to name a few."
"Denise Thimes sings with such tenderness and honesty, she has every audience in the palm of her hands. She is one of the best singers in St. Louis and America."
Jazz St. Louis is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to lead our community in advancing the uniquely American art of jazz through live performance, education and community engagement.