Steeped in the oral tradition, her childhood was spent passing time on her grandparent's porch in Louisiana, listening to neighbors and family swap stories, lies and tales. Her unique style of telling combines audience interaction, animated characterization and dynamic, expressive narrative. Through stories, songs, sign language, humor and audience participation, she brings her tales to life and touches all with a repertoire of folktales, myths, legend, fables, as well as personal and historical stories.
The combination of Diane and musician Erik Pearson might at first seem like an odd coupling. When they first met in the mid-90s, Erik was a young man playing in a number of bands in the Bay Area. Diane was the middle age mother of two and only a few years removed from her 17 year bookkeeping job for the Longshoreman’s Union. He was a formally trained musician with a degree from Oberlin College, while she was just a few years into her new career as a professional storyteller. However, Diane’s background as a church piano player and choir director influenced her integration of music into everything she did. People often ask Diane if she is a singer who tells stories or a storyteller who sings. No matter.
Erik’s versatility on the banjo and guitar, whether old time style or the blues, compliments and fulfills the natural traditions of storytelling in a way that transports one to the back porches, family picnics, and meeting halls of yesteryear. They clicked immediately and their first CD of family songs and stories for young children won the Parents’ Choice Gold Award as well as NAPPA Gold. Their next five CDs all were award winners also, including the American Library Association, Children’s Music Web, Storytelling World, and a Grammy Nomination for “Wickety Whack, Brer Rabbit is Back”.
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