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Jazz 03/03/2023

Cecile McLorin Salvant Releases Title Track To Upcoming Album 'Melusine,' And Video

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New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Cécile McLorin Salvant has released the title track to Mélusine, her new album, due March 24 on Nonesuch, along with a video she created for it.
The album features a mix of five originals and interpretations of nine songs, dating as far back as the twelfth century, mostly sung in French along with Occitan, English, and Haitian Kreyòl. The title track was written by Salvant. Mélusine follows last year's Grammy-nominated label debut, Ghost Song, which received tremendous critical praise, including spots on best albums of 2022 lists from the New York Times and NPR, among others.

Salvant tours France, Portugal, and Italy this month then returns to North America for dates into the summer, including performances at the Big Ears and SFJAZZ Festivals and at New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center. You can see all of the currently announced dates below; for all the latest, visit

The new album's songs tell the story of the European folkloric legend of Mélusine, written by Jean d'Arras in 1393. It tells of a man, Raymondin, who is overwhelmed with grief after accidentally killing his uncle in a boar hunting accident. Wandering in the forest, he encounters three women bathing. The most beautiful of them, Mélusine, sees him and demands justification for his indiscretion. She promises to make him a great lord if he marries her—on the condition that he never sees her on Saturdays.

He agrees, and they are happy until the weekend his brother visits, sharing rumors that his wife is unfaithful. He becomes angry and uses his sword to cut a hole in Mélusine's iron door. She's bathing in her marble tub, and he sees that below the waist, she has the body of a snake. When she realizes that he's looking, she turns into a dragon and flies out the window, returning to visit her descendants on their deathbeds.

"I will frequently take something from a previous project and create something new around it," Salvant says. "The song 'Mélusine' is an example—it was recorded during the Ghost Song sessions, and I thought was sure to be on that record. And then it became the seed of the next project. It is an ode to solitude, and self-reliance, and being adaptable—in this case by making water out of sand. The thorny devil drinks dew from sand in the desert. I often write songs about yearning for another, about unfulfilled desires. This song is about pulling from within yourself all that you need."

Cécile McLorin Salvant, a 2020 MacArthur Fellow and three-time Grammy Award winner, is a singer and composer bringing historical perspective, a renewed sense of drama, and an enlightened musical understanding to both jazz standards and her own original compositions. Classically trained, steeped in jazz, blues, and folk, and drawing from musical theater and vaudeville, Salvant embraces a wide-ranging repertoire that broadens the possibilities for live performance.

Salvant's performances range from spare duets for voice and piano to instrumental trios to orchestral ensembles. Her work Ogresse is an ambitious long-form musical fable based on oral fairy tales from the nineteenth century that explores the nature of freedom and desire in a racialized, patriarchal world; it was recently announced that she has partnered with French studio Miyu Productions and will co-direct a feature-length film version with Belgian animator Lia Bertels.

Mar 10 Le Rocher de Palmer Cenon, FRANCE
Mar 11 Maison de la Culture Bourges, FRANCE
Mar 14 New Morning Paris, FRANCE
Mar 16 Théâtre des Sablons Neuilly sur Seine, FRANCE
Mar 17 CCB Lisbon, PORTUGAL
Mar 18 Cine-Teatro Avenida Castelo Branco, PORTUGAL
Mar 20 Casa da Música/a> Porto, PORTUGAL
Mar 21 Petrassi Hall Rome, ITALY
Mar 24 Teatro Donizetti Bergamo, ITALY
Mar 30 Koerner Hall Toronto, ON
Apr 1 Big Ears Festival Knoxville, TN
Apr 8 Savannah Music Festival Savannah, GA
Apr 12 Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall Princeton, NJ
Apr 14 Hill Auditorium Ann Arbor, MI
Apr 29 Fife Theatre, Moss Arts Center Blacksburg, VA
May 5-7 Miner Auditorium, SFJAZZ Center San Francisco, CA
May 19&20 Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center New York, NY
Jun 7 Alter Schlachthof Dresden, GERMANY
Jun 9 Blohm + Voss Hamburg, GERMANY
Jun 12 Weimarhallen Park Weimar, GERMANY
Jul 26 Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater Chautauqua, NY

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