Cécile McLorin Salvant (USA) • Christmas Jazz 2023
Theatrical. Witty. Intelligent. These are the words that describe the American singer Cécile McLorin Salvant, one of the most unique minds and versatile voices of our time.
Since winning the first place at the Thelonious Monk Competition for Jazz Vocals in 2010 and her subsequent debut album Cécile & the Jean-Francois Bonnel Paris Quintet, Salvant has won all kinds of musical laurels. Five of her LPs have been nominated for a Grammy for Best Vocal Jazz Album, and three – For One to Love (2015), Dreams and Daggers (2017) and The Window (2018) – have also won Grammys. No wonder, because Salvant’s voice is like a cornucopia of sounds. Her style is characterised by changes of pace and tone, from a sweet whisper to a brash bark. She can hold a single note like a triumphal crown and jump to the edge of recitative the next moment. One moment her voice moves as if on a rollercoaster, the next it glides quietly to make the phrases and notes fall and jump at the same time. We may hear a domineering matron, a graceful siren or a trusting young girl – yet it’s always unmistakably Salvant herself. Her wide reach partly comes from her excellent intuition in searching for material: she keeps finding fascinating stories to tell as songs.
At Christmas Jazz, Salvant presents material from her most recent LP, Mélusine (2023), which is wide-ranging both historically and emotionally, and in terms of genre. Mélusine is a female creature from the folklore of Northern France and the Netherlands, a mythical water sprite who may have a tail of a snake or a fish, or the wings of a bird or a dragon. The name Mélusine is believed to come from the Latin word for melody and melodiousness. Indeed, Salvant’s musicality clearly has something in common with Mélusine’s sliding form, sensual and mystical at the same time, constantly reaching heights and depths. In addition to its musical variability, Mélusine also offers linguistic diversity: French, English, Occitan and Haitian Creole are heard on the album.
Cecile McLorin Salvant – vocal
Elio Villafranca – piano
Yasushi Nakamura – bass
Savannah Harris – drums
Weedie Braimah – percussion
Ticket prices will increase on November 1, 2023
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