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People's Picks: Cécile McLorin Salvant

People's Picks: Cécile McLorin Salvant
People's Picks: Cécile McLorin Salvant | Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

The songs I’ve chosen for this playlist have been with me for years. I listen to them regularly for inspiration and for solace, or to get some energy (like Bowling Green).

The Smithsonian Folkways albums have helped me discover artists I didn’t know like Jean Ritchie and Pink Anderson, as well as different melodies to songs I thought I already did know (like Horton Barker’s version of Amazing Grace).

Sometimes these recordings feel like the most pure, real music there is. It’s such a welcome respite from what feels like a general trend in music and art towards preciousness, perfectionism, editing, correcting, cleanliness.

Cécile McLorin Salvant is a composer, singer, and visual artist. An eclectic curator, Salvant unearths rarely-recorded songs with striking narratives, power dynamics, humor, and twists. Her gorgeous and eclectic music parses the connections between vaudeville, blues, folk traditions from around the world, theater, jazz, and baroque music. Salvant has received Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Album for three consecutive albums—The Window, Dreams and Daggers, and For One To Love—and is currently nominated for an additional two Grammys including for her latest album, Mélusine. In 2020, Salvant also received the MacArthur fellowship and the Doris Duke Artist Award.
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