"Cécile McLorin Salvant, who recently turned 23 and is still mostly unknown to jazz audiences, though not for much longer...Ms. Salvant is as serious as a library, and never corny...she radiates authority and delivers a set with almost a dramatic arc." - The New York Times
"She has poise, elegance, soul, humor, sensuality, power, virtuosity, range, insight, intelligence, depth and grace. Yeah." - Wynton Marsalis
"I've never heard a singer of her generation who has such a command of styles ranging from Bessie Smith to Betty Carter. To have an artist with such a handle on jazz vocabulary while being extremely expressive and soulful, that's very rare." - Aaron Diehl
Mack Avenue Records is proud to announce the signing of Cécile McLorin Salvant, winner of the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition. The announcement comes as the 23-year-old prepares for her debut album in 2013, titled Woman Child.
"Recording for Mack Avenue has been a truly wonderful experience," reflects Salvant. "As a young artist, I have found the support and encouragement that is paramount in this stage of my development."
Al Pryor, Mack Avenue Record's Executive Vice President of A&R, said, "Cécile has the preternatural ability to delve deeply into the core of a song and then serve it up to an audience. Calling on the vocal techniques of Ella, Sarah and Betty Carter, together with the intelligence of Billie Holiday's phrasing and the wisdom of Bessie Smith's lyricism, she heralds a new generation of female jazz vocalists. We are thrilled to partner with Cécile as she adds the vocation of recording artist to her journey as a jazz singer and performing artist who will undoubtedly contribute to the legacy of those artists who came before her."
Salvant was born and raised in Miami, Florida of a French mother and a Haitian father. She began classical piano studies at age five, and began singing in the Miami Choral Society at age eight. Early on, she developed an interest in classical voice, began studying with private instructors, and later with Edward Walker, vocal teacher at the University of Miami.
In 2007, Salvant moved to Aix-en-Provence, France, to study law as well as classical and baroque voice at the Darius Milhaud Conservatory. It was in Aix-en-Provence, with reedist and teacher Jean-François Bonnel, that she began learning about improvisation, instrumental and vocal repertoire ranging from the 1910s on, and sang with her first band. In 2009, after a series of concerts in Paris, she recorded her first project Cécile (self-released), with Jean-François Bonnel's Paris Quintet. A year later, she won the Thelonious Monk Competition in Washington D.C., judged by Patti Austin, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kurt Elling, Al Jarreau and Dianne Reeves.
With performance experience in Europe as well as the United States, Salvant has been accompanied by renowned musicians such as Jean-Francois Bonnel, Rodney Whitaker, Aaron Diehl, Dan Nimmer, Sadao Watanabe, Jacky Terrasson (with a noted collaboration on his latest album, Gouache), Archie Shepp, and Jonathan Batiste, among others. She has performed at numerous festivals, including Jazz à Vienne, Ascona, Whitley Bay, Montauban, Foix, the Spoleto Jazz Festival, and the Detroit Jazz Festival; with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in New York's Rose Hall and Chicago's Symphony Center; and with her own band at the Kennedy Center. Additionally, for the second consecutive year, her sole voice can be heard backing the CHANEL® "Chance" ad campaign.
On her forthcoming album, Woman Child, Salvant continues her approach in performing unique interpretations of unknown and scarcely recorded jazz and blues compositions (with a theatrical execution). The project features label mates Aaron Diehl and Rodney Whitaker (Diehl's Mack Avenue debut is set for February 19 release) as well as Herlin Riley and James Chirillo. The project is slated for mid-2013 release (exact time frame to be announced).
Upcoming Cécile McLorin Salvant Appearances:
November 16 / Ritz Kinam - w/Aaron Diehl / Petion-Ville, Haiti
November 20 / Pierre Hotel - 2012 History Makers Gala w/Jonathan Batiste / New York, NY
December 17 / l'Olympia of Paris w/Jacky Terrasson / Paris, France
December 29 / The Kings Arts Complex - Jazz on the Ave - The Holidays - w/Aaron Diehl / Columbus, OH
February 2, 2013 / Allen Room - Lincoln Center's American Songbook / New York, NY