Cécile McLorin Salvant was born and raised in Miami, Florida of a French mother and a Haitian father. She started classical piano studies at five, and began singing in the Miami Choral Society at eight. Early on, she developed an interest in classical voice, began studying with private instructors, and later with Edward Walker, vocal teacher at the University of Miami.
In 2007, Cécile moved to Aix-en-Provence, France, to study law as well as classical and baroque voice at the Darius Milhaud Conservatory. It was in Aix-en-Provence, with reedist and teacher Jean-François Bonnel, that she delved into instrumental and vocal repertoire ranging from Bessie Smith and, embracing improvisation, beyond to Betty Carter, Carmen McRae and Abbey Lincoln. She also began to sing with a band. In 2009, after a series of concerts in Paris, she recorded her first album, Cécile, with Jean-François Bonnel's Paris Quintet. Just a year later, she just materialized and captured the prestigious Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition - and a star was born.
Cécile 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. She enjoys popularity in Europe and in the United States, performing in clubs, concert halls, and festivals, accompanied by renowned musicians like Jean-Francois Bonnel, Rodney Whitaker, Aaron Diehl, Dan Nimmer, Sadao Watanabe, Jacky Terrasson (she was the guest singer on his latest album, Gouache), Archie Shepp, and Jonathan Batiste. She is the voice of Chanel's "Chance" ad campaign for the third consecutive year. In August 2012, Cécile recorded WomanChild for the Mack Avenue Records with Aaron Diehl, Rodney Whitaker, Herlin Riley and James Chirillo.
In addition to touring with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Cécile has a busy concert and festival schedule with her band that takes her throughout Europe, North and South America Morocco and Turkey just this year. Cécile's WomanChild recording was nominated for the 2014 GrammyÒ Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album.
Funding for South Florida JAZZ is provided in part by a grant from the Broward County Board of County