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Spotlight on Cécile McLorin Salvant

Meet Cécile McLorin Salvant, one of the most exciting up-and-coming female jazz singers of the decade. She has won awards, received accolades from high profile jazz musicians and reviewers, and had her first GRAMMY nomination this year – and she is only 25 years old.

Here are a few things about her:

  • Cécile grew up in Miami, Florida with her French mother and Haitian father
  • She developed an interest in classical voice at an early age, joining the Miami Choral Society at age 8
  • In 2007, she moved to Aix-en-Provence, France to study law and classical and baroque voice at the Darius Milhaud Conservatory
  • Upon her return to the US in 2010, Cécile won the Thelonius Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition in Washington, DC, launching her career in North America
  • She released her debut album WomanChild in 2013, when she was 23 years old
  • WomanChild was nominated for the 2014 GRAMMY for Best Jazz Vocal Album
  • Her sophomore album, For One To Love (2015) won the 2016 GRAMMY for Best Jazz Vocal Album
  • Cécile performs unique interpretations of unknown and scarcely recorded jazz and blues compositions
  • She sings in English, French (her native language), and Spanish
  • She is the voice of Chanel’s “Chance” ad campaign for the third consecutive year
  • She has performed at numerous festivals: Jazz à Vienne, Ascona, Whitley Bay, Montauban, Foix, with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in New York’s Lincoln Center and Chicago’s Symphony Center, and with her own band at the Kennedy Center, the Spoleto Jazz Festival, Detroit Jazz Festival and others
  • She is currently featured as the vocalist on the Big Band Holidays Tour with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra


Read what reviewers have to say:

  • “Here she is. If anyone can extend the lineage of the Big Three — Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, and Ella Fitzgerald — it is this 23-year-old virtuoso.” – Stephen Holden, New York Times, 2013
  • “She has short hair and white, thick-framed glasses; she smiles easily, but doesn’t have the typical mannerisms of many younger jazz singers — conciliatory, or flirty, or mystical. Ms. Salvant is as serious as a library, and never corny. She radiates authority and delivers a set with almost a dramatic arc.” – Ben Ratliff, New York Times, 2012
  • “Salvant’s unusual material sets her apart as much as her chops do. The most recent non-original tune on her nervily accomplished debut is by Fats Waller. A couple tunes were recorded by 1920s blues star Bessie Smith and a couple more are older than that. Salvant also does two or three bona fide 1930s standards, as well as a 1935 curio by singing trumpeter Valaida Snow, who had her own Parisian minute early on: ‘You Bring Out the Savage in Me.’” – Kevin Whitehead, NPR, 2013


Don’t miss Cécile at the Chan on Sunday, May 1 2016. Tickets still available!



Tue Mar 1, 2016