StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Introducing Cyrille Aimée


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Today's showcase features some videos starring Cyrille Aimée, who will be making her St. Louis debut with performances starting Wednesday, February 3 through Saturday, February 6 at Jazz at the Bistro

Though Aimée is just now performing in St. Louis for the first time, the 31-year-old singer, whose name is pronounced SUR- real M-A, has been plying her trade professionally for almost a decade.

The daughter of a French father and Dominican mother who grew up in the small town of Samois-sur-Seine in north-central France, Aiméee first attracted wide public attention in 2007 when she won the Montreux Jazz Festival Competition. She later was a finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2010, and the winner of the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Competition in 2012.

After relocating to NYC and self-releasing several albums beginning in the mid-2000s, in 2013 Aimée signed with Mack Avenue Records. She put out her debut on the label, It's a Good Day, the next year, and currently is touring in support of her second, brand-new release on Mack Avenue, Let's Get Lost, which officially came out yesterday.

You can hear Aimée sing “It's A Good Day" from that first Mack Avenue album in the first video up above. It was recorded in June 2013 at Smalls Jazz Club in NYC with a band including acoustic guitarist Adrien Moignard, electric guitarist Michael Valeanu, bassist Sam Anning, and drummer Rajiv Jayaweera. After the jump, there's another clip from the same gig, in which Aimée and Anning offer a duo performance of “Mean to Me."

Next, you can see Aimée's sing her arrangement of the 1960s pop hit “Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You," recorded at a show with guitarist Denis Chang's Manouche Project in 2010 in Montreal.

The fourth video shows Aimée singing her version of “Summertime" at a gig in May, 2013 in Israel. The clip looks like it was shot by an audience member, so the video quality is no-frills, but the audio is good, and the performance has a nice example of Aimée scat singing.

Her use of a more modern vocal effect- the electronic looping of parts to provide self-accompaniment- is on display in the next video, a version of Bob Marley's “Waiting in Vain" recorded live to video in February 2015 that was created by singing through a loop pedal, with no overdubs or additional effects.

Last but not least, you can hear Aimée sing in her native language via a clip of a performance of “Nuit Blanche" recorded in July 2015 at the Jazz à Vienne festival.

For more about Cyrille Aimée, check out the interview she did in 2014 with Jazz Times and her appearance in 2014 on the Jazz in Europe podcast.

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