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  • Cécile McLorin Salvant

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  • October 9, 2020

    Singer and composer Cécile McLorin Salvant has been named a 2020 MacArthur Fellow. She was among the twenty-one new MacArthur Fellows for 2020 announced by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation this week. The annual fellowship, often referred to as the “Genius” grant, offers an unrestricted award of $625,000 over five years to individuals who, in the Foundation’s words, “have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.” Details of her Nonesuch debut album, which she began recording this week, will be announced in early 2021.

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About Cécile McLorin Salvant

  • Cécile McLorin Salvant, who has been named a 2020 MacArthur Fellow, is a singer and composer bringing historical perspective, a renewed sense of drama, and an enlightened musical understanding to both jazz standards and her own original compositions. Classically trained, steeped in jazz, blues and folk, and drawing from musical theater, and vaudeville , Salvant embraces a wide ranging repertoire that broadens the possibilities for live performance.. Salvant’s nearly four-octave vocal range—from a bold, husky low register to clear high tones—animates her performances in a variety of configurations, from the spare duets for voice and piano featured on her album The Window (2018), to the instrumental trios on For One to Love (2015), to orchestral ensembles and her work with the all-female group Artemis. She locates her renditions of standards and new original compositions within a Black, feminist, yet global framework. In her fresh interpretations of lesser-known works, such as Josephine Baker’s “Si J’Étais Blanche” (If I Were White) and Bert Williams’s “Nobody,” Salvant demonstrates a deep psychological and emotional engagement with the lyrics, modulating her voice from Cécile McLorin Salvant is a singer and composer bringing historical perspective, a renewed sense of drama, and an enlightened musical understanding to both jazz standards and her own original compositions. Classically trained, steeped in jazz, blues and folk, and drawing from musical theater, and vaudeville , Salvant embraces a wide ranging repertoire that broadens the possibilities for live performance.

    Salvant’s nearly four-octave vocal range—from a bold, husky low register to clear high tones—animates her performances in a variety of configurations, from the spare duets for voice and piano featured on her album The Window (2018), to the instrumental trios on For One to Love (2015), to orchestral ensembles and her work with the all-female group Artemis. She locates her renditions of standards and new original compositions within a Black, feminist, yet global framework. In her fresh interpretations of lesser-known works, such as Josephine Baker’s “Si J’Étais Blanche” (If I Were White) and Bert Williams’s “Nobody,” Salvant demonstrates a deep psychological and emotional engagement with the lyrics, modulating her voice from sharp-edged wit to sorrow and heartbreak as she dissects the painful past in which these works were born. Her unreleased work Ogresse (2018) is an ambitious long-form song cycle that showcases Salvant’s storytelling ability and theatricality. Salvant pairs her original lyrics for a cast of characters—all of which she sings—with an orchestral score that blends baroque elements with bluegrass and jazz. Based on oral fairy tales from the nineteenth century, Ogresse is a narrative that explores the nature of freedom and desire in a racialized, patriarchal world.

    Salvant studied at the Université Pierre Mendès-France. Her additional albums include Cécile (2010), WomanChild (2014), and Dreams and Daggers (2017). She has performed at such national and international venues and festivals as the Newport Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Village Vanguard, and the Kennedy Center. Salvant is also a visual artist. Details of her Nonesuch debut, which she began recording this week, will be announced in early 2021sharp-edged wit to sorrow and heartbreak as she dissects the painful past in which these works were born. Her unreleased work Ogresse (2018) is an ambitious long-form song cycle that showcases Salvant’s storytelling ability and theatricality. Salvant pairs her original lyrics for a cast of characters—all of which she sings—with an orchestral score that blends baroque elements with bluegrass and jazz. Based on oral fairy tales from the nineteenth century, Ogresse is a narrative that explores the nature of freedom and desire in a racialized, patriarchal world. Salvant studied at the Université Pierre Mendès-France. Her additional albums include Cécile (2010), WomanChild (2014), and Dreams and Daggers (2017). She has performed at such national and international venues and festivals as the Newport Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Village Vanguard, and the Kennedy Center. Salvant is also a visual artist. Details of her Nonesuch debut, which she began recording this week, will be announced in early 2021

Cécile McLorin Salvant

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on October 8, 2020 - 5:24pm
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Cécile McLorin Salvant, who has been named a 2020 MacArthur Fellow, is a singer and composer bringing historical perspective, a renewed sense of drama, and an enlightened musical understanding to both jazz standards and her own original compositions. Classically trained, steeped in jazz, blues and folk, and drawing from musical theater, and vaudeville , Salvant embraces a wide ranging repertoire that broadens the possibilities for live performance.. Salvant’s nearly four-octave vocal range—from a bold, husky low register to clear high tones—animates her performances in a variety of configurations, from the spare duets for voice and piano featured on her album The Window (2018), to the instrumental trios on For One to Love (2015), to orchestral ensembles and her work with the all-female group Artemis. She locates her renditions of standards and new original compositions within a Black, feminist, yet global framework. In her fresh interpretations of lesser-known works, such as Josephine Baker’s “Si J’Étais Blanche” (If I Were White) and Bert Williams’s “Nobody,” Salvant demonstrates a deep psychological and emotional engagement with the lyrics, modulating her voice from Cécile McLorin Salvant is a singer and composer bringing historical perspective, a renewed sense of drama, and an enlightened musical understanding to both jazz standards and her own original compositions. Classically trained, steeped in jazz, blues and folk, and drawing from musical theater, and vaudeville , Salvant embraces a wide ranging repertoire that broadens the possibilities for live performance.

Salvant’s nearly four-octave vocal range—from a bold, husky low register to clear high tones—animates her performances in a variety of configurations, from the spare duets for voice and piano featured on her album The Window (2018), to the instrumental trios on For One to Love (2015), to orchestral ensembles and her work with the all-female group Artemis. She locates her renditions of standards and new original compositions within a Black, feminist, yet global framework. In her fresh interpretations of lesser-known works, such as Josephine Baker’s “Si J’Étais Blanche” (If I Were White) and Bert Williams’s “Nobody,” Salvant demonstrates a deep psychological and emotional engagement with the lyrics, modulating her voice from sharp-edged wit to sorrow and heartbreak as she dissects the painful past in which these works were born. Her unreleased work Ogresse (2018) is an ambitious long-form song cycle that showcases Salvant’s storytelling ability and theatricality. Salvant pairs her original lyrics for a cast of characters—all of which she sings—with an orchestral score that blends baroque elements with bluegrass and jazz. Based on oral fairy tales from the nineteenth century, Ogresse is a narrative that explores the nature of freedom and desire in a racialized, patriarchal world.

Salvant studied at the Université Pierre Mendès-France. Her additional albums include Cécile (2010), WomanChild (2014), and Dreams and Daggers (2017). She has performed at such national and international venues and festivals as the Newport Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Village Vanguard, and the Kennedy Center. Salvant is also a visual artist. Details of her Nonesuch debut, which she began recording this week, will be announced in early 2021sharp-edged wit to sorrow and heartbreak as she dissects the painful past in which these works were born. Her unreleased work Ogresse (2018) is an ambitious long-form song cycle that showcases Salvant’s storytelling ability and theatricality. Salvant pairs her original lyrics for a cast of characters—all of which she sings—with an orchestral score that blends baroque elements with bluegrass and jazz. Based on oral fairy tales from the nineteenth century, Ogresse is a narrative that explores the nature of freedom and desire in a racialized, patriarchal world. Salvant studied at the Université Pierre Mendès-France. Her additional albums include Cécile (2010), WomanChild (2014), and Dreams and Daggers (2017). She has performed at such national and international venues and festivals as the Newport Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Village Vanguard, and the Kennedy Center. Salvant is also a visual artist. Details of her Nonesuch debut, which she began recording this week, will be announced in early 2021

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