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
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I am proud to report that I am Vice-Chair of the Board of the Portland (Oregon) Jazz Festival, now in its 11th year and which just opened last night with terrific performances by Eliane Elias and Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band. Programmed by industry veteran Don Lucoff, the Festival features an amazing array of talent in ticketed and free shows played out in performance halls and clubs all over our community.
Jazz is keeping interesting company these days. On one end of the spectrum is the ageless Ahmad Jamal, who plays tonight, and on the other is 24-year-old Cecile McLorin Salvant, who plays tomorrow night and is described by Chris Barton of the Los Angeles Times as “a rising star…whose Grammy-nominated sophomore album, ‘Woman Child,’ was one of the sharpest, most magnetic releases of 2013.” Her recording showcases a singing style in the tradition of Abbey Lincoln and Sarah Vaughan, at times even dipping into what Barton describes a “Paul Robeson-like purr” while singing Bert Williams’ “Nobody.” […] Continue reading »