A jazz singer who seeks discipline and adventure

Cecile McLorin Salvant (From cecilemclorinsalvant.com)

Cecile McLorin Salvant (From cecilemclorinsalvant.com)

You can’t always get what you want, right, Mick?

But if you try some time, you just might find …

Well, as much as he wanted to get me some phone time with rising star jazz vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant for my weekly community blog column today for Syracuse Public Media site waer.com, her publicist said he just couldn’t swing it on her designated media day. Too busy, too much, too hectic … Apologetically, he instead sent a template of questions from others and answers from McLorin Salvant. It was the next best thing. OK, you get what you need in different ways.

You can read my story by clicking the link below.


I saved the last portion of that Q-and-A, a rapid-fire volley, for you all right here:

What would you do outside of music?

I like to draw, absolutely love comedy, reading, writing and eating! I’ve been reading Emily Dickinson’s poems, White Teeth by Zadie Smith and In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust.

(From cecilemclorinsalvant.com)

(From cecilemclorinsalvant.com)

I wish I could …

Be more disciplined, and adventurous.

To find balance, I …

Spend time with my loved ones. Also ‘meditation’ in the form of sleep.

I struggle to …

Say no and tell people what I’m thinking with no reservations.

My family is …

My anchor.

I have no tolerance for …

Opportunists, line skippers, bigots.

There should be more …

Laughter, always.

My heart is open to …

A small group of people I trust and love.

There is beauty in …

So much! Where can I start? There is also beauty in flaw.

Someday I will …

Be just as uncertain about the future as I am now!

My heart belongs to …

A small group of people I trust and love.

Here’s a YouTube clip of McLorin Salvant performing.

Here’s a YouTube video I shot of the Heath Brothers, the last installment of the Legend of Jazz Series at OCC.

McLorin Salvant won the 2010 Thelonious Monk competition and is known for an improvisational vocal style. Do you enjoy interpretation of the classics or prefer straight-as-written? She was nominated for a Grammy in 2014 for best vocal album for “WomanChild.” That included the song “No Regrets.” Do you have any musical regrets? She sings in both French and English. Do you master any other languages?

35 thoughts on “A jazz singer who seeks discipline and adventure

      • Because of you, I am now the proud owner of a Salvant album. You should write to her and see if you can get a share of the profits. πŸ˜‰ And yes, you better get cracking on your reports. There are only ten and a half months left!


    • She is big-time, Liz. To have her coming to a 280-seat auditorium, the programmer of this jazz series does impressive things. πŸ™‚ Frank Malfitano, the executive director of the M&T Syracuse Jazz Fest, also stages Legends of Jazz, and uses his connections in the industry to the max. πŸ™‚


  1. She’s okay Mark, but definitely no Ella. No one can scat like Ella, and I hate hearing people try. Now I’m going to take some pain meds and disappear, disappear, disappear for the night. Maybe the pain is why Cecile hurt my ears.


  2. I know next to nothing about this genre to make a comparison. But I enjoyed listening to this video. It was different and I found myself coming back to the video to watch her while I thought I would just let it play in the background while I went around doing other things. Thank you for the share.


  3. I am so glad you got responses, even though you must be disappointed that it didn’t work out as planned. I like the fact you continued to write the post and made it your own version, Mark! You always add such great questions and thoughts to the post. I would like different versions of songs I am familiar with. I liked it when different artists on American Idol tried new things. I also like to watch the Voice to hear people who may be up and coming in the musical world. On the Grammy’s I enjoyed Tony Bennett with Lady Gaga, Electric Light Orchestra, AC/DC and then, Pharrell Williams’ newer version of his “Happy” song. It includes just some more faith and gospel, which is fine with me! smiles!


    • I like individuality but not overhaul in the song, if you know what I mean, Robin. A song is a classic for a reason. Honor that greatness. Then add your own twists.

      Thanks for your wonderful opinions here, my friend, on the singing shows and the Grammys. I see what made you “Happy,” and your list does not surprise me, my friend. πŸ™‚


  4. this was such fun little post – the tidbits of yours (with the varied answers) and then Cecile’s paintbrush voice – and jazzy ending – and this might be my fav…
    “β€˜meditation’ in the form of sleep” ha


  5. My eye keeps going back to: I wish I could …Be more disciplined, and adventurous. I wish that too but it seems paradoxical, yet I love it Mark!

    I have never heard of Cecile Mclorin Salvant – I love her voice – thanks for highlighting her in your post this morning!

    Diana xo


    • It is so great when we discover new voices, Diana. There are so many worthwhile of our time out there! Yes, it is also quite remarkable when two seemingly polar opposite things are so darn attractive — and attainable with the proper reach and grasp. πŸ™‚ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think it depends on the interpretation. Changing the tempo and meaning is no bueno. Stick to the truth in the tune and it will be alright. That being said, great tune and great performance.


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