Artist Bio
Diana Panton has quietly become one of the brightest lights on the jazz scene today. Her work has been consistently praised by listeners and music critics alike for her ethereal vocals, exceptional song selection and emotional intensity. "Her diaphanous vocal sound never insists and her high speed vibrato is like the beat of a hummingbird's heart - natural, untainted and pure." (Lesley Mitchell-Clarke, Wholenote Magazine)
Her keen aesthetic sense has attracted the attention of some of the jazz world’s most respected masters. When Order of Canada and legendary multi-instrumentalist Don Thompson first heard Panton sing at age 19, he recommended she audition for the reputed jazz workshop at the Banff Center for the Arts (Canada). There, she studied under Norma Winstone (and in subsequent visits, Jay Clayton and Sheila Jordan). "When the great singer Sheila Jordan said Diana Panton 'sounds like the sweetest bird you'll ever hear', she helped define some of the ephemeral delicacy that marks Panton as unique." (Stuart Broomer, Toronto Life)

Before recording her first album, Panton completed an Honours Masters degree in French literature and fulfilled a teaching engagement at the University of Paris (France), followed by a position as a French Sessional Lecturer at McMaster University (Canada). She then completed teaching qualifications in French, Visual and Dramatic Arts which would eventually lead to her current position at Westdale Secondary (Canada).

When the time finally arrived to go into the studio, national award-winning guitarist Reg Schwager was invited to join Don Thompson for some stellar accompaniment behind Panton’s pure vocals. The late great Montreal jazz critic Len Dobbin called ...yesterday perhaps one of the finest debut CDs he had heard in years! It landed Diana on the covers of VIEW and NOW Magazine and the album made NOW's TOP 10 Discs of the Year. The album was also awarded a Silver Disc Award upon its release in Japan in 2011.

Since her initial CD release, Panton's impressive catalogue of internationally acclaimed albums ​has garnered numerous honours, including two JUNO wins, a second Silver Disc Award in Japan, five JUNO nominations, nine Hamilton Music Awards, a host of National Jazz Award nominations, Canadian and American Independent Music Award nominations. Her sophomore album, if the moon turns green ...was the first place jury-selection to perform at the Jazz à Juan Révélations in France where she was voted Première Dauphine by the Juan public.

Her last album, I Believe in Little Things charted simultaneously on Billboard's Jazz and Children's Music Charts in the US and went to Number 1 on iTunes and Amazon in Canada and the US, including topping's Movers and Shakers Chart. The album has received significant critical praise, including being selected as the one of the top albums of 2016 by School Library Journal and DownBeat.

On her latest ​JUNO-nominated release, solstice/equinox, Diana leads a stellar cast of Canada's brightest luminaries, including three Order of Canada recipients: Guido Basso, Phil Dwyer and Don Thompson, plus four-time National Jazz Guitarist of the Year, Reg Schwager. The album is a collection of songs about the changing seasons. It went to #1 on the HMV Jazz Chart in Hong Kong, as well as Taiwan's and Eslite where it ranked #2 in year-end sales for 2017. It was also voted one of the Top Albums of 2017 by ICI Musique. In 2018, solstice/equinox was an Editor's Pick in DownBeat Magazine.

Panton is the recipient of the 2016 Hamilton Arts Award for Music, the 2017 Woman of Distinction in Arts/Culture/Design by the Hamilton YWCA, the 2017 OSSTF Wayne Clark Teaching Award and a 2017 Hamilton Wentworth District School Board's Profiling Excellence distinction. Diana was also recently the featured guest host on CBC Radio. Previous Tonic radio host Tim Tamashiro named her one of Canada’s TOP 5 Jazz Vocalists.​ The jazz listenership at JAZZ.FM voted Diana onto their list of the Top 25 of Canada's Most Significant Jazz Musicians.
"Diana Panton is now one of my favourite voices in Jazz!"
Laila Biali, JUNO-award winning singer, composer, pianist and national radio host

Her name is Diana Panton and she has one of the loveliest voices I think I've ever heard ... (One of Tim's picks for the Top 5 Jazz Vocalists in Canada)
Tim Tamashiro, ​past radio host of CBC's Tonic

... the gloriously gifted Diana Panton has quietly developed into one of Canada's premiere jazz vocalists.
TIm Perlich, CBC blogpost

Diana Panton est à mon avis l’un des trésors les mieux dissimulés du jazz canadien.
Frédéric Cardin, CBC/Radio Canada,

It is truly a special treat to work with someone of Diana's artistry, natural jazz proclivities and professional business practices. Never mind the fact that our audiences `eat her up' live and then buy her recordings like crazy! Both of her northern visits celebrated over-sold shows.
Duncan Sinclair, President of Jazz Yukon

Aesthetically wonderful!
Dr. Yusef Lateef, saxophonist, Jazz in July

She brings to each song that perfect combination of words and music – words so naturally phrased they seem as easy as conversation, music so deliciously supported and coloured by a voice that can do whatever it wishes to express the deepest emotions.
Hugh Fraser, Hamilton Spectator

She’s so soulful … I know she means every word she sings.
Sheila Jordan, Vocalist

Panton does, indeed, have a delightfully sweet (though never cloying) sound, a tonal purity that is arrestingly beautiful.
Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes Magazine

Hearing Diana’s voice is like catching the sound of a thrush in the middle of a long Canadian winter: it’s warm, sweet and pure.
Katie Malloch, previous host of CBC's Tonic

Among the many new vocal stars on the jazz scene today, Diana Panton has special charms.
Kazutomi Aoki, Japan’sJAZZLIFE

She really knocked me out (the first time I heard her sing). She was so young but she had a lot of real feeling. It surprised me right away.
Don Thompson, pianist, bassist, vibraphonist

… Panton is surely one of Hamilton’s best-kept musical secrets.
Leonard Turnevicius, Hamilton Spectator

If the post isn’t already taken, I’d like to nominate Diana Panton as Canada’s jazz sweetheart.
Cathy Riches, WholeNote Magazine

[listening to Diana sing] I got the same feeling the first time I heard singers like Sheila [Jordan], Lee Wiley (at the 1954 Newport Jazz Festival), Helen Merrill and Irene Kral.
Len Dobbin, “Masterworks”Award for radio

Diana Panton is one of Canada’s finest singers, and I was pleased to feature her with her band at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival here in NY this past June (2014) to great reviews by our patrons. I highly recommend her for your festival!
John Nugent, Producer/Artistic Director

Diana […] has a keen sense of lyrics and her expressiveness is very engaging. She is comfortable in her own skin and has her own style - that was clear at her show.
Keizo Takada, Jazz Japan  Tokyo Cotton Club review