Hard-charging, powerful, immersed in the history of their craft, and passionately swinging the music forward; that’s DIVA – an ensemble of fifteen versatile, multi-generational musicians who expertly balance enthusiastic energy with sophisticated subtlety, virtuosity, and imagination.
Headed by swinging drummer Sherrie Maricle, DIVA exudes the excitement and force found in the tradition of historic big bands, with an eye towards originality. With New York as their home base, DIVA performs all over the world playing original contemporary and mainstream big band jazz composed and arranged specifically for the band and tailored to fit their distinct ensemble sound while highlighting each soloist’s unique personality and style.
Since their premiere performance 30 years ago, DIVA has toured the world to critical and popular acclaim. Performance highlights include Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Dizzy’s Club, Symphony Halls in St. Louis, Philadelphia and Cleveland, and the Hollywood Bowl. International appearances include Le Meridien Hotel in Paris, France; Teatro de Sistina in Rome, Italy; Berlin Jazz Festival in Germany; Salzburg Music Festival in Austria; Bern Jazz Festival in Switzerland; Montreal and Ottawa International Jazz Festivals in Canada; Bogota International Jazz Festival in Colombia; Jamaica Jazz Festival; Zagreb Jazz Festival in Croatia; and the Pori Jazz Festival in Finland.
As if the list of settings in which DIVA has performed isn’t impressive enough, from 2013 – 2020 the band was featured in Maurice Hines’s autobiographical musical Tappin’ Through Life, performing extended theatrical runs throughout the United States. DIVA has also shared the stage, and/or recorded with Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, Diane Schuur, Carmen Bradford, Marlena Shaw, DeeDee Bridgewater, Rosemary Clooney, Ann Hampton Callaway, Jack Jones, Clark Terry, Dr. Billy Taylor, Terry Gibbs, Tommy Newsom, Dave Brubeck, and others jazz luminaries.
Notable television, film and Internet appearances include the 2017 NEA Jazz Masters Awards Ceremony live from the Kennedy Center; A 2017 PBS special with Maurice Hines for The Kate show; the soundtrack for the 2014 NBC/Macy’s Firework Spectacular; a feature in the award-winning documentary film, The Girls in the Band; multiple appearances on CNN Arts Break; a dedicated segment on CBS Sunday Morning; and musical features as part of The Kennedy Center’s 25th Anniversary Special, the Japanese television network NHK, and Metropol TV in Germany.
DIVA was founded by Stanley Kay, one-time manager and relief drummer for Buddy Rich. In 1990 he heard Sherrie play, was impressed, and decided to create a band of liked-minded, masterful players. In 1992 the search was on, and through a nationwide audition the foundation of DIVA was poured.
The DIVA Jazz Orchestra loves to swing!