Jazz Singer Cécile McLorin Salvant Doesn’t Want To Sound ‘Clean And Pretty’ (via NPR)

Listen to the interview or read the transcript by clicking the link, below.

McLorin Salvant first studied classical voice, but turned to jazz because it offered her more range. “In jazz, I felt I could sing these deep, husky lows,” she says. Originally broadcast Nov. 4, 2015.


This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross. Happy new year. Today we conclude our series featuring some of our favorite interviews of 2015 with jazz singer Cecile McLorin Salvant. Her album “For One To Love” won in the vocal category of the 2015 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll. Her previous album won in that same category in 2013. Her repertoire ranges from jazz standards to forgotten old songs, show tunes and originals. In 2013, critic Stephen Holden wrote in The New York Times – if anyone can extend the lineage of the big three – Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald – it’s this 23-year-old virtuoso. In 2010, she won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition.

Salvant is now 26. She was exposed to a lot of different music growing up in Miami with a father who’s from Haiti and a French mother who was born in Tunisia and lived in several African and Latin American countries. When we spoke in November, we started with a track from “For One To Love.” It’s an unusual song choice – “Stepsister’s Lament” from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Cinderella.”

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