Cécile McLorin Salvant

Submitted by nonesuch on Thu, 10/08/2020 - 17:24
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Salvant
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Biography (Excerpt)

Singer/songwriter Cécile McLorin Salvant's Nonesuch Records debut album, Ghost Song, features a diverse mix of seven originals and five interpretations on the themes of ghosts, nostalgia, and yearning. Salvant says, “It’s unlike anything I’ve done before—it’s getting closer to reflecting my personality as an eclectic curator. I’m embracing my weirdness!” 

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https://www.facebook.com/CecileMcLorinSalvantMusic
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https://twitter.com/cecilesalvant
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https://www.instagram.com/cecilemclorinsalvant/

Singer/songwriter Cécile McLorin Salvant makes her Nonesuch Records debut with the release of Ghost Song on March 4, 2022. The new album features a diverse mix of seven originals and five interpretations on the themes of ghosts, nostalgia, and yearning. Salvant says, “It’s unlike anything I’ve done before—it’s getting closer to reflecting my personality as an eclectic curator. I’m embracing my weirdness!” A video for the album track “Ghost Song,” written by Salvant, can be seen below. Nonesuch Store pre-orders of Ghost Song include an exclusive, limited edition signed artwork by Salvant while they last.

Salvant says of the title track, out now, “What if the love has gone, the love has left you and you have the emotions around that, and you’re still going through them, still engaging with the ghost of that love?” She continues, “Some songs are so painful to come out but this one came out pretty quickly. I’ve had some loss the last couple of years: my grandmother, the drummer in my band [Lawrence Leathers].”

Ghost Song opens and ends with a sean-nós (traditional Irish unaccompanied vocal style) performance by Salvant, recorded in a church. On track one, she transitions into Kate Bush’s 1978 classic “Wuthering Heights.” Salvant says of the song, “Wuthering Heights is a book that really struck me to my core as I was making this album, during the pandemic. And the best interpretation of the novel is Kate Bush’s song.”

She continues, “It’s the most classic ghost story. I decided I wanted to do an album called Ghost Song, and I knew that one had to be on it. Then I had the idea to mix it in with the sean-nós ‘Cúirt Bhaile Nua,’ which binds it to the traditional ‘Unquiet Grave,’ the last track on the album. The ghost is not haunting me; now I am haunting the ghost. They parallel each other so well and they’re such different time periods. I wanted the album to be a circle, with the sean-nós reference at the beginning and at the end. So it is the first track but it’s also the last track and it’s also the middle track, which is how I listen to music, walking around my neighborhood, on a plane, travelling somewhere, putting stuff on repeat.”

“All the songs on the album kind of mirror each other. I tried to create this strange symmetry. So as you go in from both ends, the songs are sort of matched together,” Salvant says. “‘I Lost my Mind’ is the center of the Russian doll. I wrote that in the middle of the pandemic. There were nights when I wanted to just scream. It was this deeper part of me saying, ‘It’s OK if this sounds completely crazy, OK to just go with the completely crazy thing and not worry if people think you have lost your mind for doing it.’

“The bands also mirror each other from top to bottom. In terms of the instrumentation, everything,” Salvant explains. “That’s why the songs are there in that relationship: they match each other, they’re like fraternal twins, or one is the evil twin of the other. I, as the living, am visited by the ghost, and then I go visit the ghost in turn. I am haunting the ghost and annoying the ghost, which is saying, ‘Get out of here and go live.’”

Of the sonic variety on Ghost Song, Salvant says, “Texture is a big part of how I sing, having multiple textures in one song. It’s almost a compulsion. I can’t allow myself to stay in one texture. The instrumentation creates that but the recording process as well. It’s something I like, even when I’m eating. You want the creamy and chewy and crunchy at the same time. Warm and cold.”

Cécile McLorin Salvant, a 2020 MacArthur Fellow and three-time Grammy Award winner, 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 performances range from spare duets for voice and piano to instrumental trios to orchestral ensembles. Her unreleased work Ogresse is an ambitious long-form song cycle based on oral fairy tales from the nineteenth century that explores the nature of freedom and desire in a racialized, patriarchal world. Salvant studied at the Université Pierre Mendès-France. She has performed at national and international venues and festivals such as the Newport Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Village Vanguard, and the Kennedy Center. Salvant is also a visual artist.

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Latest Release

  • March 4, 2022

    Singer/songwriter Cécile McLorin Salvant's Nonesuch Records debut album, Ghost Song, features a diverse mix of seven originals and five interpretations on the themes of ghosts, nostalgia, and yearning. The New York Times calls it "her most revealing and rewarding album yet." Uncut says she is "one of the most daring and resourceful vocalists in jazz—or any other genre, for that matter." The Arts Desk exclaims: "The treasure trove of marvels that is Ghost Song exceeds all expectations." Grammy Nominee for Best Jazz Vocal Album; Best Arrangement, Instrumental and Vocals. Nonesuch Store LP and CD orders include an exclusive, limited edition signed artwork by Salvant while they last.

Releases

News

  • November 15, 2022

    Congratulations to all of the Nonesuch nominees for the 65th Grammy Awards: Molly Tuttle for Best New Artist and Best Bluegrass Album for Crooked Tree with Golden Highway; The Black Keys for Best Rock Album for Dropout Boogie and Best Rock Performance for "Wild Child"; Dan Auerbach for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical; Cécile McLorin Salvant for Best Jazz Vocal Album for Ghost Song and Best Arrangement, Instrumental and Vocals for "Optimistic Voices / No Love Dying"; Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride, and Brian Blade's LongGone for Best Instrumental Album; Brad Mehldau's Jacob's Ladder for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album; Punch Brothers' Hell on Church Street for Best Folk Album; Caroline Shaw & Attacca Quartet's Evergreen for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance; Taj Mahal & Ry Cooder's GET ON BOARD for Best Traditional Blues Album; Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (20th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition) for Best Historical Album and Best Album Notes for Bob Mehr; and Astor Piazzolla: The American Clavé Recordings. for Best Album Notes for Fernando González. 

  • October 5, 2022

    Cécile McLorin Salvant’s concert at Salle Poirel in Nancy, France, for the Nancy Jazz Pulsations festival was broadcast live via ARTE. She was joined by guitarist Marvin Sewell, bassist Paul Sikivie, and percussionist Keita Ogawa—all of whom perform on her Nonesuch debut album, Ghost Song—and pianist Glenn Zaleski. You can watch the set here. Salvant was on BBC Radio 4's Kate Bush: The Power of Stranger Things hosted by Ann Powers. She talks about "Wuthering Heights" and why she chose to record it on Ghost Song

Tour

Wed, Nov 30
Monaco,
Opéra Garnier Monte-Carlo
Wed, Nov 30
Monaco,
Opéra Garnier Monte-Carlo
Sat, Dec 03
Paris,
Salle des concerts, Cité de la musique
Sat, Dec 03
Paris,
Salle des concerts, Cité de la musique
Sun, Dec 04
Paris,
Salle des concerts, Cité de la musique
Sun, Dec 04
Paris,
Salle des concerts, Cité de la musique
Fri, Jan 13
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Blue Note at Sea
Fri, Jan 13
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Blue Note at Sea
Thu, Jan 26
Los Angeles, CA
Royce Hall
Thu, Jan 26
Los Angeles, CA
Royce Hall
Fri, Jan 27
Davis, CA
Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center
Fri, Jan 27
Davis, CA
Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center
Sat, Jan 28
Stanford, CA
Bing Concert Hall
Sat, Jan 28
Stanford, CA
Bing Concert Hall
Thu, Feb 02
Raleigh, NC
Stewart Theatre
Thu, Feb 02
Raleigh, NC
Stewart Theatre
Fri, Feb 03
Miami, FL
Knight Concert Hall, Arsht Center
Fri, Feb 03
Miami, FL
Knight Concert Hall, Arsht Center
Tue, Feb 07
Madison, WI
Wisconsin Union Theater
Tue, Feb 07
Madison, WI
Wisconsin Union Theater

Photos

About Cécile McLorin Salvant

  • Singer/songwriter Cécile McLorin Salvant makes her Nonesuch Records debut with the release of Ghost Song on March 4, 2022. The new album features a diverse mix of seven originals and five interpretations on the themes of ghosts, nostalgia, and yearning. Salvant says, “It’s unlike anything I’ve done before—it’s getting closer to reflecting my personality as an eclectic curator. I’m embracing my weirdness!” A video for the album track “Ghost Song,” written by Salvant, can be seen below. Nonesuch Store pre-orders of Ghost Song include an exclusive, limited edition signed artwork by Salvant while they last.

    Salvant says of the title track, out now, “What if the love has gone, the love has left you and you have the emotions around that, and you’re still going through them, still engaging with the ghost of that love?” She continues, “Some songs are so painful to come out but this one came out pretty quickly. I’ve had some loss the last couple of years: my grandmother, the drummer in my band [Lawrence Leathers].”

    Ghost Song opens and ends with a sean-nós (traditional Irish unaccompanied vocal style) performance by Salvant, recorded in a church. On track one, she transitions into Kate Bush’s 1978 classic “Wuthering Heights.” Salvant says of the song, “Wuthering Heights is a book that really struck me to my core as I was making this album, during the pandemic. And the best interpretation of the novel is Kate Bush’s song.”

    She continues, “It’s the most classic ghost story. I decided I wanted to do an album called Ghost Song, and I knew that one had to be on it. Then I had the idea to mix it in with the sean-nós ‘Cúirt Bhaile Nua,’ which binds it to the traditional ‘Unquiet Grave,’ the last track on the album. The ghost is not haunting me; now I am haunting the ghost. They parallel each other so well and they’re such different time periods. I wanted the album to be a circle, with the sean-nós reference at the beginning and at the end. So it is the first track but it’s also the last track and it’s also the middle track, which is how I listen to music, walking around my neighborhood, on a plane, travelling somewhere, putting stuff on repeat.”

    “All the songs on the album kind of mirror each other. I tried to create this strange symmetry. So as you go in from both ends, the songs are sort of matched together,” Salvant says. “‘I Lost my Mind’ is the center of the Russian doll. I wrote that in the middle of the pandemic. There were nights when I wanted to just scream. It was this deeper part of me saying, ‘It’s OK if this sounds completely crazy, OK to just go with the completely crazy thing and not worry if people think you have lost your mind for doing it.’

    “The bands also mirror each other from top to bottom. In terms of the instrumentation, everything,” Salvant explains. “That’s why the songs are there in that relationship: they match each other, they’re like fraternal twins, or one is the evil twin of the other. I, as the living, am visited by the ghost, and then I go visit the ghost in turn. I am haunting the ghost and annoying the ghost, which is saying, ‘Get out of here and go live.’”

    Of the sonic variety on Ghost Song, Salvant says, “Texture is a big part of how I sing, having multiple textures in one song. It’s almost a compulsion. I can’t allow myself to stay in one texture. The instrumentation creates that but the recording process as well. It’s something I like, even when I’m eating. You want the creamy and chewy and crunchy at the same time. Warm and cold.”

    Cécile McLorin Salvant, a 2020 MacArthur Fellow and three-time Grammy Award winner, 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 performances range from spare duets for voice and piano to instrumental trios to orchestral ensembles. Her unreleased work Ogresse is an ambitious long-form song cycle based on oral fairy tales from the nineteenth century that explores the nature of freedom and desire in a racialized, patriarchal world. Salvant studied at the Université Pierre Mendès-France. She has performed at national and international venues and festivals such as the Newport Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Village Vanguard, and the Kennedy Center. Salvant is also a visual artist.

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