Diana Krall on Handling Grief, and ‘Finding Romance in Everything’

On a spring afternoon, Diana Krall sat in an empty Café Carlyle, quoting lines from Woody Allen’s “Hannah and Her Sisters” in a respectable New Yawk accent. Ms. Krall, the jazz pianist and singer, mentioned a scene in which Mr. Allen’s character takes a date to see Bobby Short, the Carlyle’s longtime cultural ambassador.

Ms. Krall met Mr. Short more than two decades ago, while still an aspiring musician. At the time, she was too shy to tell him she played the piano. “I would just sit in the background, in that chair,” she said, pointing toward the back of the room, as far from the stage as the intimate space allows.

The Diana Krall of today isn’t hiding in any corners. Now 52, she is easily the most high-profile female jazz artist of her generation, with a string of gold and platinum albums as well as film and TV projects, including an upcoming Amazon series adapting the children’s book series “Pete the Cat.” (Ms. Krall and her husband, Elvis Costello, voice Pete’s parents.) Ms. Krall is now eager to engage that veteran stature by mentoring younger musicians the way Rosemary Clooney, Marian McPartland and others encouraged her. And on Wednesday she will perform at the Beacon Theater, supporting her latest album, “Turn Up the Quiet,” a collection of standards released in May that was firmly guided by her artistic authority. 

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