Cecile McLorin Salvant at the Old Church
Portland Oregon, Aug 30, 2017
Last week I had the privilege of attending a show in Portland by vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant, the fast emerging superstar of jazz, of whom Wynton Marsalis has said “you get a singer like this once in a generation or two.”
The show – performed at the city’s 300 seat Old Church on August 30 – was one of the more astounding jazz performances I have ever seen. Having been to hundreds (hell, probably thousands by now) of shows over the years in venues all over the globe, that is saying something! I came away feeling as if I witnessed contemporary “greatness” of historic proportions.
Ms. Salvant, a 28-year-old native of Miami, was elegant, breathtaking, sensitive, angry, political, intellectual, adventurous, and everything in between (and always brilliant). So many highlights — including Aaron Diehl’s performance on the Old Church organ, accompanying her on “The Peacocks,” and a spine-tingling a cappella encore that channeled many of her musical ancestors.
If you get a chance to see her perform, do so without hesitation…To read an entertaining and informative biography, Fred Kaplan’s May 22nd piece in the New Yorker is the ticket. Click here to get to it.