In 2007, jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant was living in France when she was introduced to the work of early jazz singers-Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday- and blues singers such as Bessie Smith.
Today, the 28-year old jazz singer is an award-winning vocalist who won first prize in the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition and a 2016 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album for her 2015 album “For One to Love.”
Performance Santa Fe brings this Miami-born singer, whom Nate Chinen of the New York Times has called “the finest jazz singer to emerge in the last decade,” to town on November 15.
Salvant, who grew up in a French-speaking household with her father, a doctor from Haiti, and her mother, the head of an elementary school, decided at the age of 18 that she wanted to live in France. She enrolled at the Darius Milhaud Conservatory in Aix-en-Provence to study vocal music and at a nearby prep school to study political science and law.
During an audition for a class in jazz singing, jazz musician and teacher Jean-François Bonnel became enamored with her voice. He formed a band for her and set up her first gig.
In recent years Salvant has toured with Wynton Marsalis’ jazz band twice and performed throughout Europe and the U.S. in clubs, concert halls and festivals. Her latest album, “Dreams and Daggers,” was released on September 29.
“I have been watching Cecile’s career over the past several years and have always been impressed with her innate musicality and technical skill,” says Performance Santa Fe’s executive director Jonathan Winkle. “But what has always set her apart from other singers of her generation is this somewhat undefinable quality-her personality integrating with musical interpretation in a way that is remarkably distinctive.”