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Cécile McLorin Salvant

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The singular Cécile McLorin Salvant is a composer, singer, and visual artist. Salvant has developed a passion for storytelling and finding the connections between vaudeville, blues, folk traditions from around the world, theater, jazz, and baroque music. Salvant is an eclectic curator, unearthing rarely recorded, forgotten songs with strong narratives, interesting power dynamics, unexpected twists, and humor. Salvant won the Thelonious Monk competition in 2010. She has received Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Album for her 3 latest albums, The Window, Dreams and Daggers, and For One To Love. In 2020, Salvant received the MacArthur fellowship and the Doris Duke Artist Award. In 2020, Salvant created Yolk, a virtual cross-disciplinary performance space. It features her own hand-drawn animation, compositions, and music, in collaboration with dancers, visual artists, musicians, and actors from around the world.

Ben Ratliff writes in The New York Times: “she sings clearly, with her full pitch range, from a pronounced low end to full and distinct high notes, used sparingly…Her voice clamps into each song, performing careful variations on pitch, stretching words but generally not scatting; her face conveys meaning, representing sorrow or serenity like a silent-movie actor.”

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she sings clearly, with her full pitch range, from a pronounced low end to full and distinct high notes, used sparingly…Her voice clamps into each song, performing careful variations on pitch, stretching words but generally not scatting; her face conveys meaning, representing sorrow or serenity like a silent-movie actor.

– Ben Ratliff , The New York Times