Jazz singer Cécile McLorin Salvant follows ‘Dreams’ to Penn State debut Sept. 14

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.—Grammy Award-winning jazz singer Cécile McLorin Salvant, praised for her vocal and emotional range, will make her Penn State debut at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, in Schwab Auditorium. Famed jazz trumpeter and music education advocate Wynton Marsalis said of the young but accomplished vocalist, “You get a singer like this once in a generation or two.”

In a 2016 interview with “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross, McLorin Salvant said she initially modeled her vocal style on Sarah Vaughan’s textured sound, paying attention to word pronunciation, accent and vibrato. “The more I listened and became obsessed with singers, I feel like the more I realized that I had my own little thing that I could do,” she said.

McLorin Salvant started to develop her musical talent with childhood piano lessons, a position with the Miami Choral Society and classical voice studies. After moving to France to study law and practice music, she released her recording debut “Cécile” in 2010. That year she also won the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Vocals Competition.

“WomanChild,” her second album and debut for Mack Records, garnered a Grammy nomination, an NPR “Best Jazz Album of the Year” selection and three mentions in that year’s DownBeat critic’s poll. “For One to Love,” released in 2015, earned the singer the 2016 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Her fourth release, “Dreams and Daggers,” is scheduled for release Sept. 29.

McLorin Salvant sings “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” from her album “WomanChild.”

Her songs have been featured in multiple Chanel fragrance campaigns and in the soundtrack for the HBO feature film “Bessie.” At age 27, McLorin Salvant was named by Vanity Fair as one of the magazine’s “Millennials That are Shaking Up the Jazz World.”

The New York Times Magazine heaped praise on the songstress. “McLorin Salvant has a supple, well-trained voice with spot-on pitch. Her low notes go from husky to full-bodied; her high notes fly purely and cleanly. When she scats, it’s not an ego trip but a musical game, where notes and syllables get to shape-shift.”

She will perform with her band — piano, bass and drums — in concert at Schwab Auditorium. Patricia Best and Thomas Ray sponsor the performance.

For more information about the performance, visit McLorin Salvant or call 814-863-0255.

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Last Updated August 11, 2017