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KariJazz Meets Cecile McLorin-Salvant
Posted: Monday, September 20, 2010

Cecile McLorin-SalvantSemifinalist of one of the most prestigious jazz competitions, vocalist Cecile Mclorin-Salvant shares her thoughts with KariJazz on this wonderful adventure.

KariJazz: What motivated you to register for this competition?

Cecile McLorin-Salvant: My mom first told me about this competition and once we knew it was vocals this year; she really encouraged me to apply. I know a few people who placed in the competition as well. I had heard about it also when reading about Gretchen Parlato, the last vocal competition's winner.

KariJazz: Oh, I remember. She was the TMI 2004 winner and the downbeat female choice. Her 2009 Album "In a Dream" was worldly acclaimed by musicians and critics. Which piece(s) did you send in with your registration? If more than one which one lead to your selection?

Cecile McLorin-Salvant: The competition has a set of required arrangements so I was a bit more limited in what I could send (which was good). I ended up sending recordings from my upcoming CD, and the other songs were recorded by me (so not of excellent quality!). I don't know which piece or pieces led to my selection.

KariJazz: This is a great opportunity because this competition has been designed to preserve Jazz Legacy in America. Can you tell us what would happen in terms of price and future opportunities if you are the winner?

Cecile McLorin-Salvant: There are three finalists that win between 5,000 and 20,000 dollars to be used for musical studies. The competition also allows you to meet and get to know jazz musicians, and basically network, which is very important in music.

KariJazz: At the semifinal, will you play a tune from your repertoire or will you be given a song (like a standard) to sing?

Cecile McLorin-Salvant: There are 15 minutes to perform. We choose the songs; the only requirement is that there be one Thelonious Monk composition.

KariJazz: We think it is a well-deserved nomination. Are you aware that you are making a certain impact on people with your voice?

Cecile McLorin-Salvant: Thank you! It's great to hear that because I think that's what I'm working towards making an impact on an audience when I sing. It's not always very easy, and I have a long way to go.

KariJazz: If you reach the final, you will be singing before the president and his wife at the Kennedy Center in Washington. Share with us your thoughts on this big event.

Cecile McLorin-Salvant: Whether or not a winner, I'll still be at the final (at least to watch the winners), and I must say I'm really excited to know that I'll be seeing all these eminent people! I'm also extremely nervous, but trying to focus most on what I'll be singing for those 15 minutes!

KariJazz: We appreciate you took the time to talk to us. We are certain you'll do very well. Stay cool! Thanks and Good Luck!

Cecile McLorin-Salvant: Thank you! It's been a pleasure.

September 20, 2010

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