Charles Burrell, the uncle of Dianne Reeves was a bass player with the Denver Symphony Orchestra. He's introduced her to the music of jazz singers, from Ella Fitzgerald to Billie Holiday. She was especially impressed by Sarah Vaughan.
Later she has won four Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Performance.
At the age of 17 Reeves began studying music at the University of Colorado before she moved in 1976 to Los Angeles. While there, her interest in Latin-American music grew. She began experimenting with different kinds of vocal music and finally decided to pursue a career as a singer. She met Eduardo del Barrio, toured with his group Caldera, and sang in Billy Childs' jazz band Night Flight. Later, she toured with Sérgio Mendes.
From 1983 until 1986, Reeves toured with Harry Belafonte as a lead singer. This period saw her first experiences with world music.
In 1987, Reeves was the first vocalist signed to the reactivated Blue Note/EMI label. Reeves sang at the closing ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.