Pianist Sean Stanley, and vocalist Miss Dior possess a special chemistry; it's not simply their warm, dynamic interplay, but their unique blending of influences that come together so effectively. This polished quartet bring early jazz and blues to life, mixing landmark standards with Sean Stanley's original compositions.
Miss Dior treads her own path as a vocalist, (also a talented world music percussionist) and her sound is the sum of her many diverse influences, spanning a broad spectrum of musical classifications: Bjork, Billie Holiday, Sade, Nina Simone and Sarah Vaughan are a few vocalists that inform her charismatic sound and presentation. Born in West Africa and raised in Toronto after arriving as a refugee with her family, Dior’s style is as eclectic and well travelled as her life.
Sean Stanley is a jazz man, living the life and filling each possible moment with a focus to deepen his knowledge of great jazz music and its leading, creative figures. Stanley's piano playing reflects his autodidactic jazz piano historian background. He summons the spirit of: Errol Garner, Eubie Blake, Teddy Wilson, and Earl Hines, among others in his piano technique. These and other classic jazz and blues inspirations commingle with his own jazz impulses as an evolving pianist, composer and bandleader. The duo is also capable of swelling to trio, quartet and sextet configurations when requested, a draw from a well of young, talented jazz musicians in the city.
Sean Stanley & Miss Dior have a robust resume, including performances at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival (as part of the Restaurant Host Events), Canada Day at Niagara Falls, finalists in the Toronto Blues Society’s Annual Talent Search, as well as more intimate performances at Jazz Bistro, Evergreen Brickworks’ “Thursday Night Jazz” series, The Senator Wine Bar, and their 4-year ongoing Residency at Harlem Underground.
Sean Stanley & Miss Dior offer a consuming and elucidating jazz and blues experience.
MEET THE TEAM
SEAN STANLEY - Keys/Vocal/Guitar & Band Leader
Pianist. Vocalist. Guitarist. Born in Scarborough and raised between Scarborough and the Canadian East Coast, Sean Stanley grew up in a musical environment and began playing guitar at a young age, after watching his grandfather and other relatives' bluegrass jam sessions. The colorful sounds of the east coast sparked his curiosity as he wanted so badly to be able to play what he heard and saw. By age 11 he was learning the popular songs of the day ranging from rock, blues, funk and hip hop on the guitar and bass. After being introduced to Ray Charles and hearing others he began to transition to playing piano, realizing the fullness and diversity of sound that could be achieved when playing solo as he often did and still does today. He sought to combine his various influences and experiences, and upon discovering Scott Joplin's Ragtime and Louis Armstrong & Earl Hines' "Hot Five & Seven" recordings, he found the path to the sound he was searching for......"Jazz".
His love of the traditional and his curiosity for the new drives him to craft sounds that pay homage to the past, yet are unmistakably Sean in their delivery. His passionate yet playful, improvisations are thoughtful and distinct, sounding like nobody else. He has played in various venues around Toronto and continues to build his sound and resume, challenging himself every step of the way. He is continuing the tradition of swinging and playing the blues, while on a constant search for musical knowledge and the opportunity to entertain audiences and share the music .
MISS DIOR - Vocals/Percussion & Band Manager
Sokhna-Dior is a local Toronto singer and West African percussionist with a passion for learning. As part of the group Moussou Folila (Women Who Play) from 2010-2014, she has had the opportunity to play in various and diverse venues, displaying her percussion, dance and vocal skills. While gaining a degree in International Development Studies at York University, she also started studying West African Percussion with Anna Melnikoff, Mande Music course director, at the university. She has also studied under Master Drummers Billy Konate, M'Bemba Bangoura, Amadou Kienou and Amara Konte. Under Anna's wing, she was asked to join her new group Moussou Folila to showcase female drummers for the Muhtadi Internation Drum Festival at Queen's Park (Now at Woodbine Park) in 2010. Since then, she has performed in venues such as The Horseshoe Tavern, The Glen Gould Studio, The Mississauga Centre for the Performing Arts, The Trane Studio to name a few. She has also performed on the main stage at the Afrofest festival, The Muhtadi International Drum Festival, Toronto Pride Events, Cabbagetown Festival and several others within and outside of the GTA.
While singing has always been a hobby and was at times part of the performance repertoire, she has has worked hard over the last 5 years, steadily making a name for herself as a respected vocalist. With influences such as Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Ray Charles, Peggy Lee, Patsy Cline, Sarah Vaughan, Bjork, Beth Gibbons and Sade, she strives to create music you can feel. With haunting highs and smokey lows, she sets an atmosphere reminiscent of Torch singers past. Singing Jazz Standards, Covers and original songs in the works, she tries to craft a performance experience that etches its initials in the tree bark of your soul.