About the Event
Cécile McLorin Salvant, is a composer, singer, and visual artist. The late opera singer Jessye Norman described Salvant as “a unique voice supported by an intelligence and full-fledged musicality, which light up every note she sings.”
Salvant has developed a passion for storytelling and finding the connections between vaudeville, blues, folk traditions from around the world, theatre, 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 Thelonius Monk competition in 2010.
She has received Grammys® for Best Jazz Vocal Album for three consecutive albums, The Window, Dreams and Daggers, and For One to Love, and was nominated for the award in 2014 for her album WomanChild. In 2020, Salvant received the MacArthur Fellowship and the Doris Duke Artist Award. Ghost Song, Salvant’s debut for Nonesuch Records, was released in March 2022 to critical acclaim and has gone on to receive two Grammy® nominations.
Salvant’s latest work, Mélusine, is a mix of five originals and interpretations of nine songs, dating as far back as the 12th century, mostly sung in French along with Occitan, English, and Haitian Kreyòl. They tell the folk tale of Mélusine, a woman who turns into a half-snake each Saturday after a childhood curse by her mother. Mélusine agrees to marry Raymondin on the condition that he never sees her on Saturdays. He agrees but is later convinced by his brother to break his promise, piercing his wife’s door with a sword and finding her naked in the bath, half snake, half woman. When she catches him spying on her, she turns into a dragon and flies away, only to reappear every time one of her descendants is on their deathbed.