Selected by Dan Grunebaum
Elder stateswoman of
An institution of modern
soul arrives in Tokyo in the form of Dionne Warwick, a singer whose career spans four
generations. Warwick returns this time for a series of solo concerts that should provide
something more familiar than the opera diva role she tried out in her last performance
here four years ago with Japan' National Opera.
Getting her first chance to record during a visit with her family's Drinkard Singers
gospel group to the storied Apollo Theatre in Harlem, Warwick's path to fame was sealed
when composer Burt Bacharach first heard her in 1960.
Bacharach asked her to supply the vocals for songs he was writing with partner Hal David.
In 1962, Bacharach presented a demo of one of her songs to Scepter Records, launching a
12-year association with the New York label that was to see Warwick rack up nearly 20
In 1968, Warwick received her first of five Grammy Awards for the classic "Do You
Know The Way To San Jose?" becoming the first black solo performer to appear before
the Queen of England at the Royal Command Performance. With her grace and easy elegance,
Warwick became known as the singer who bridged the gap of race, culture and musical
In 1971, Warwick moved to Warner, with whom she also had an extended career. The year 1974
welcomed the release of her first chart-topping single, "Then Came You," a duet
with The Spinners.
The '80s saw Warwick devote an increasing amount of her time to humanitarian work, a focus
that continues into the present. She collaborated in 1985 with longtime friends Bacharach,
Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder and Elton John to record "That's What Friends Are
For," with proceeds going to the American Foundation for AIDS Research.
The '90s witnessed Warwick exploring her interest in Brazil, a country where she now
resides part-time. Showcasing her love for the people and music of Brazil was her 1994
album Aquarela Do Brazil.
Warwick's most recent album is Love Songs, released in March on Warner Archives.
Warwick plays Bunkamura Orchard Hall on July 5, Nakano Sun Plaza on July 6, and Tokyo
Koseinenkin Hall on July 8. See listings for