As a genre that has completed its journey from street club to concert hall, jazz is an art in which achievement is measured in grants, monuments, federal genius recognitions (hopefully with a fat check folded up in the card) and French competitions and awards. So when the great jazz/classical trumpeter, composer and official jazz curator Wynton Marsalis declares, “You get a singer like this once in a generation or two,” as he did of the vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant, you know that a place in the pantheon has been prepared. “If anyone can extend the lineage of the Big Three – Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald – it is this virtuoso,” raved The New York Times.
Cécile McLorin Salvant was born and raised in Miami, Florida of a French mother and a Haitian father. In 2007, McLorin 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, with reedist and teacher Jean-François Bonnel, that she started learning about jazz and sang with her first band. In 2009, after a series of concerts in Paris, she recorded her first album, Cécile, with Jean-François Bonnel’s Paris Quintet. A year later, she won the Thelonious Monk competition in Washington, DC. In 2016, her album For One to Love won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album.
Cécile McLorin Salvant performs with pianist Sullivan Fortner on Sunday, December 17 at 3 p.m. in Bard College’s Fisher Center’s Sosnoff Theater. Ticket prices range from $25 to $65. For tickets and additional information, visit http://fishercenter.bard.edu or call the box office at (845) 758-7900. Bard College is located in Annandale-on-Hudson.