Cécile McLorin Salvant continues to rise at Monterey Jazz Fest. (via Monterey County Now)

Cécile McLorin Salvant was riding the high of a first Grammy nomination (WomanChild in the Best Jazz Vocal Album category) when she made her Monterey Jazz Festival debut in 2014. The 27-year-old phenom returns to the Fairgrounds’ Main Stage Arena Friday soaring even higher: Not only did Salvant’s masterful follow-up to WomanChild, For One to Love, make her a Grammy Award winner again in 2016, it earned the Miami native a coveted Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Award for Female Singer of the Year.

“The goal is to always make music that’s sincere,” Salvant says. “When we get these awards, it’s a wonderful nod – for the Grammy, from a more mainstream group of people and from the Jazz Journalists Association, from people who are dealing with jazz all the time. It’s great to get both.”

Since erupting onto the jazz scene at 21, Salvant has been widely touted for her ability to blend her natural raw talent with an extensive education (formal and informal) that includes classical, baroque and jazz vocals. Ongoing learning is pivotal to the singer, especially when she’s making a new record. Salvant’s breathy soprano in the funky and playful “Growlin’ Dan” is pulp noir personified. The tune appears on For One to Love and was penned by Blanche Calloway, “another one of those great singers that nobody remembersm” Salvant says. Salvant had only recently been turned on to Calloway (jazz singer Cab Calloway’s older sister), but quickly devoured every recording she could find.

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