January 07, 2013

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Young jazz standout Cécile McLorin Salvant will perform Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 7:30 p.m. in the Weis Center Lobby at Bucknell University.

The performance, part of the Janet Weis Jazz Series, is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.

Salvant, who recently turned 23 years old, performs unique interpretations of unknown and scarcely recorded jazz and blues compositions. She focuses on a theatrical portrayal of the jazz standard and composes music and lyrics which she also sings in French, her native language, as well as in Spanish.

Singing for the second consecutive year for Chanel's Chance ad campaign, Salvant enjoys popularity in Europe and in the United States, performing in clubs, concert halls, and festivals.

In 2010, she won the Thelonious Monk competition in Washington, D.C. In 2009, after a series of concerts in Paris, she recorded her first album, "Cécile", with Jean-François Bonnel's Paris Quintet. In August 2012, she recorded a CD that will be released this year for the Mack Avenue label with Aaron Diehl, Rodney Whitaker, Herlin Riley and James Chirillo.

Diehl, who will be Salvant's pianist at the Weis Center performance says, "I've never heard a singer of her generation who has such a command of styles ranging from Bessie Smith to Betty Carter. To have an artist with such a handle on jazz vocabulary while being extremely expressive and soulful, that's very rare." Diehl is a Weis Center favorite; he performed on the piano with Randy Napoleon and Wycliffe Gordon.

Ben Ratliff of The New York Times said of a recent performance in New York City, "... At a mainstream American jazz club like Dizzy's, in front of casual listeners, performing these songs is a completely different story. Audiences are puzzled, then surprised, and intrigued; they laugh and yell. They know they're seeing something unusual. They like it when a jazz singer jumps a few levels above their expectations ..."

Salvant was born and raised in Miami, Fla., of a French mother and a Haitian father. She started classical piano studies at 5, and began singing in the Miami Choral Society at 8. Early on, she developed an interest in classical voice, studying with private instructors, and later with Edward Walker, vocal teacher at the University of Miami.

For more information about these events, contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach coordinator, at 570-577-3727 or by e-mail at lisa.leighton@bucknell.edu.

For more information about future programming at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, go to www.facebook.com/WeisCenter or www.bucknell.edu/WeisCenter.

Contact: Division of Communications