This week, StLJN's video spotlight shines on singer Cécile McLorin Salvant, who's returning to St. Louis to perform next Saturday, November 11 at the Sheldon Concert Hall.
Salvant, a 28-year-old native of Miami, made her St. Louis debut a couple of years ago at The Sheldon and is one of the most talked-about jazz singers to emerge in the last decade. She's already earned a Best Jazz Vocal" Grammy Award for her third album, 2015’s For One to Love, and currently is touring in support of her latest album Dreams and Daggers. It's a two-CD set recorded live at the Village Vanguard in NYC, released by Mack Avenue Records in September.
Dreams and Daggers mixes standards and originals in what Pitchfork has called the boldest move of her career", and in the first clip up above, you can see the official music video for You're My Thrill," which Mack Avenue is promoting as a single from the album.
After the jump, you can see several more videos of recent live performances, starting with Salvant and her working band, led by pianist Aaron Diehl, performing Boy! What Has Love Done To Me" at a gig in February 2017 in Montreal.
Next up, Salvant and pianist Sullivan Fortner duet on Cole Porter's Every Time We Say Goodbye," recorded in April of this year at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse in NYC.
After that, there are two tracks, Doudou" and Just A Gigolo," recorded in August of this year at the Jazz in Marciac festival in France. Both feature Salvant performing with trumpeter Wynton Marsalis' quintet, which includes drummer Ali Jackson, pianist Dan Nimmer, bassist Carlos Henriquez, and saxophonist Walter Blanding.
In the last video, you can see an interview with Salvant in which she discusses Dreams and Daggers, her influences and career so far, and more.
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.