Home » Jazz Musicians » Donna Deussen

Donna Deussen

Donna Deussen’s singing has been praised for her “agile musicianship and wise good taste.” (John McDonough, writer for Downbeat). A magna cum laude graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Donna began performing and recording with various pop/rock bands when she first moved to Los Angeles after graduation, before committing herself to the “art of jazz.” She studied privately with Tierney Sutton, one of her many influences (along with Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae, and Nancy Wilson, to name a few).

Donna performs regularly throughout southern California and Arizona. Some of the many clubs where she has performed recently include: Beverly Hills Art Fair, Malibu Winery, Millenium Biltmore Hotel (downtown LA), Whisper Lounge at The Grove, Cal Tech Summer Jazz Series (Pasadena), the Inn At Morro Bay, Tempe Arts Festival (AZ), West Valley Art Museum (Surprise AZ), the Phoenician Hotel (Scottsdale AZ), Squashed Grapes (Ventura), Vitello's (Studio City), and many more. Donna has worked as a session singer at several recording studios in the L.A. area, and has been heard on local radio commercials. In addition, she run a teaching studio and is committed to helping other singers improve their vocal technique and jazz chops.

Donna Deussen collaborated with guitarist Paul Weitz on their release “On The Street Where You Live.” The CD features unique and exciting arrangements of pop and jazz standards and has received rave reviews, including C. Michael Bailey placing it on his list of the best CDs of 2014 in All About Jazz. It features Matt VanBenschoten on bass, Gus Duffy on drums, Wayne Wayne on sax, and Geoff Nudell on clarinet & flute.

“High Wire” is her debut album, released in 2003. Backed by a killer band made up of some of Los Angeles’ finest musicians, the CD features 12 exciting arrangements of jazz and pop standards. It features Mark Massey on keyboards, Aldo Bentivegna on drums, Anders Swanson on bass, and Eric Marienthal (of Chick Corea’s Elektric Band) on sax.

More recently, Donna has been performing with guitarist Jim Fox at various venues in Southern California, and is in the studio with guitarist Tom Rizzo working on a new duo CD.

For more information or to connect with Donna regarding bookings, please go to www.donnadeussen.com


“THANK GOD A JAZZ SINGER FINALLY COVERED “CALIFORNIA DREAMIN” AND DID IT A RIGHTEOUS!!! I've been waiting for that for four decades! Donna Deussen knocks it screaming out of the ballpark. John Philips, were he still with us, would be exultant. Ah, but let's not stop at Johnny 'cause the very next cut is Steely Dan's “Do Wrong Shoes”, and Don Fagen's gonna go into raptures when he hears this version. As I've been noting for some time now, it's well past the moment the successors to The Great American Songbook were covered, and that sentiment's slowly spreading to the jazz world, Deussen making excellent contributions (her take on Joni's Both Sides Now isn't radicalized but it's very very sweet, even to the point of multi-tracking a duet with herself, and I love it when singers do that). Deussen's version of “On the Street Where You Live” is OUTSTANDING (geez, I better knock off the capitalizations or the whole review is going to be nothing but!), taking the chestnut sprinting down to the end of the pier and jumping off to dance the Lindy Hop with amped-up mermaids, swingin' and then some. You have not, I guaranfuckingtee, heard the hoary ol' chestnut done like this before. Deussen is an extremely confident singer; I don't think it's possible for her to make even the most minor mistake or for a microsecond quaver in her choices. You can tell she knows exactly what the next 10 moves are going to be while simultaneously permanently in the pocket, forever in the moment, and then projecting forward to where everything should lead. It's a CRIME that this is only Deussen's second slab. She should have 10 out by now, be soundtracked in movies, appear on TV, and find herself featured in Playboy Jazz Fests. Take my word for it, y'all, this is one of the country's most talented singers, one of the best I've EVER heard. On the Street is a definite in the year's 30 Best.” - Mark S. Tucker / F.A.M.E. (Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange) (Apr 6, 2015)

Read more

Primary Instrument



Los Angeles

Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced


20+ years experience teaching proper vocal technique both privately and in a classroom setting. B.A. Berklee College of Music, Boston MA. Location: Tarzana, CA (San Fernando Valley). Please contact [email protected] for more information on hours/rates.




On The Street Where You Live

From: On The Street Where You Live
By Donna Deussen



Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.