From her early training in classical piano as a child to her studies of classical and baroque voice at the Darius Milhaud Conservatory in 2007, Salvant has a traditional foundation in music. It wasn't until 2010 that the artist truly launched her jazz career and obtained the Thelonious Monk Jazz Vocal Award.
Gathering momentum in her profession, Salvant also earned a Grammy nomination in 2014 for her album "One to Love" — making her the youngest woman ever to win a jazz vocal Grammy.
Gordon Hanks, founder of Jazz SLC noted that Salvant is a rare talent.
“What makes (Salvant) so remarkable is her wide range of musical interests," he said. "From traditional jazz to songs by Irving Berlin and Noel Coward to Bessie Smith — she does it all. And she does it exceptionally well. She really is in a league of her own."
Salvant is part of resurgence of young female vocalists in recent years. In the 80s and 90s, female vocalists Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves and Cassandra Wilson dominated the charts. But a new group of female vocalists, all in their 20s, are beginning to make their mark.
“Just keep an eye open for a renaissance of female vocalists,” Hanks said. “Besides Cécile there are a number of young women like Nicolas King, Jazzmeia Horn, and Veronica Swift who are really making a mark. You’ll be hearing a great deal from them and we hope to have them join our series in the future.”
Salvant seamlessly blends blues, folk music and jazz and possesses a strong sense of the narrative for each genre. Blending storytelling and composition with each performance, Salvant is a rising star in the jazz world. And with the pure phrasing of the late Ella Fitzgerald and the impressive range of Sarah Vaughan, it's a concert that shouldn't be missed.
If you go
What: Cécile McLorin Salvant concert
When: Monday, Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South
Tickets: Adults: $29.50, Students (with ID) $10
Website: Experience Arts Salt Lake
Phone: 801-355-2787 or 888-451-2787
Jeff Metcalf is a professor of English at the University of Utah and an avid jazz fan.