A few years ago, Cleveland-area singer/songwriter Diana Chittester became discouraged about the progress of her career, considering becoming a music teacher rather than a performer, thinking that teaching might be a more reasonable method of pursuing her passion. But then she started showcasing at performing arts conferences where she found talented peers who sustain a career doing really good work while not becoming celebrities; Diana had found “her people,” a community of quite talented artists making a living doing what they love without attaining widespread fame. And her commitment to continue sharing her musical gifts was ignited anew.
Darke County Center for the Arts Artistic Director Keith Rawlins searches out excellent artists suitable for presentation in our community by attending performing arts conferences; at one of those conferences, Keith discovered Diana Chittester. Diana will close DCCA’s 2018-2019 Coffeehouse Series season on Thursday, April 25 with a performance at The Coffee Pot in downtown Greenville. In addition to her ability to weave fascinating stories through her songwriting, the singer’s unique approach to playing her acoustic guitar immediately captured Keith’s attention. As a solo performer accompanying herself on stage, Diana learned to use intricate finger-picking patterns, popping bass lines, and percussive thumping to imitate a three-piece band, a technique that has earned her the designation of “complex guitar acrobat” and “guitar god” from reviewers.
A critique of her latest album lauds Diana’s captivating versatility and wide vocal range, saying that “she can be spry and upbeat, sounding almost like a Disney princess,” shift to “a heavier, bluesy, slide guitar infused” sound, or deliver a “touching, heart-tugging grown-up ballad.” Another reviewer says “If you don’t believe an acoustic solo performance can fill a room with raw power, elegance and intelligence concurrently, you haven’t experienced Diana Chittester.”
The artist herself reveals that as a college student she was inspired by the passion and truth Ani DiFranco brings to her music, and committed herself to becoming a “fiercely independent musician.” Diana’s sound has been described as “kinda folk with a funky punk edge;” the singer/songwriter herself says that she “gets shoved into the Americana” genre, but also plays acoustic rock, and reveres the abilities of Heart guitarist Nancy Wilson, referencing Wilson’s iconic work in her own music.
DCCA’s highly popular Coffeehouse Series provides high quality artists performing in a casual social setting where food and drink are also available; tickets to Coffeehouse shows are just $10, and can be purchased by contacting DCCA at 937-547-0908 or firstname.lastname@example.org; tickets are also available online at www.darkecountyarts.org.The Coffee Pot will also sell tickets for the Diana Chittester concert. Even though she’s admittedly not a celebrity, Diana is a committed talented performer who connects with her audiences through her music as she continues to build a career, winning admirers and earning praise while pursuing her own path – whether or not she ever becomes famous.
Marilyn Delk is the former executive director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.