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Blossom Dearie was born on April 28 in New York. From the age of two, she showed an interest in music, sitting at the piano on her mother's lap. A year later, she decided to become a musician. Blossom Dearie began her first piano lessons at age five and it was at age ten, while living with her half-brother in Washington, DC, that she received lessons in classical compositions by Bach and Chopin. His progress impressed his teacher, who recommended that he study classical music at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore. However, she returned to East Durham and abandoned her classical studies.
Blossom Dearie first discovered jazz while playing in a high school orchestra and knew she had found her life's calling. She absorbed the music of conductors Count Basie and Duke Ellington, and she admired Martha Tilton, who sang for Benny Goodman's orchestra. When Blossom Dearie graduated from high school in the mid-1940s, she moved to New York.
Blossom Dearie's wispy voice, classic repertoire and lively spirit have helped make her an artist with a distinct style for over 50 years. Lacking the vocal prowess of Ella Fitzgerald or the range of Sarah Vaughan, Blossom Dearie made the most of her delicate voice by incorporating elements of cabaret into her style. She strengthened her approach by relying on ballads borrowed from the classic songbooks of the Gershwins and Rodgers and Hart, as well as humorous songs by more recent writers like Dave Frishberg.
In 1983, Dearie became the first winner of the Mabel Mercer Foundation Award, a $1,500 cash prize, and in 1993 she performed at the White House with Shirley Horn, Bobby Short and Mandy Patinkin.
Blossom Dearie disappeared on February 7, 2009 in Greenwich Village.