(born on 1984)
French vocalist Cyrille Aimée is a 21st century award-winning performer whose jazz-based music touches upon an eclectic mix of Gypsy swing, Brazilian bossa nova, and Latin rhythms. From her first independently released recordings, The Surreal Band (2008) and the following year's jazz and bossa standards set Smile -- co-billed to guitarist Diego Figueiredo --Aimée won the attention of European and American jazz critics with her unique phrasing, bracing ideas, and commanding stage presence. She has won the Montreux Jazz Festival's Vocal Competition, the Sarah Vaughn International Jazz Vocal Competition, and was a finalist in the Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition; she performed at virtually every major jazz festival in the world. Her 2016 Mack Avenue debut effort Let's Get Lost, peaked at number 11 on the jazz albums chart. Born in Fontainebleau, France in 1984 and raised in nearby Samois-sur-Seine by a French father and Dominican mother, Aimée first became interested in performing music while attending a local Django Reinhardt Festival. After high school, Aimée moved to the United States to study at the conservatory of jazz at SUNY Purchase. While there, she was hired to play a weekly gig at a club in New York City's SoHo neighborhood. This led to other gigs and soon Aimée was deeply embedded in the New York jazz scene. After graduating SUNY Purchase in 2007, the budding jazz star took first prize in the Montreux Jazz Festival Competition. Two years later, she released her debut album, Cyrille Aimée & the Surreal Band, as well as the album Smile with Brazilian guitarist Diego Figueiredo. In 2010, she received even wider recognition after reaching the finals of the prestigious Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition. That same year, Aimée teamed again with Figueiredo for the album Just the Two of Us and released the live album Live at Smalls, featuring trumpeter Roy Hargrove. Another concert album, Live at Birdland, followed in 2013. A year later, Aimée released her Mack Avenue label debut, It's a Good Day, which featured collaborations with guitarists Michael Valeanu, Adrien Moignard, and Guilherme Monteiro. In 2016, Aimée returned with her second Mack Avenue release, Let's Get Lost, which found her focusing on romantic standards. After spending 11 weeks on the Jazz Albums chart and peaking at number 11, Aimée hit the road. In August, she and her longstanding live band played their final show together at New York City's Le Poisson Rouge before she relocated to New Orleans to pursue new directions and opportunities. Mack Avenue released the set the following summer as Cyrille Aimée Live. She returned in 2019 with the studio album Move On: A Sondheim Adventure. Inspired by her 2013 appearance in the New York City Center production A Bed and a Chair: A New York Love Story, the album found her further exploring the music of composer Stephen Sondheim, backed by keyboardist and co-producer Assaf Gleizner, pianist Thomas Enhco, bassist Jérémy Bruyère, drummer Yoann Serra, and others. ~ Matt Collar
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Vocal Jazz - Released June 22, 2018 | Mack Avenue Records
Cyrille Aimée isn’t the only French jazz singer to have conquered New York, but she is a genuinely talented interpreter capable of touching anyone who lends an ear to her music. The young woman has spent her entire life immersed in music, slipping away as a child to meet up with gipsies and sing. Regardless of where her sounds or influences come from, Aimée is simply capable of absorbing anything that can feed into her singing. Unbeatable on the history of New Orleans jazz, American pop music, gypsy rhythms and French classics, she wanders through sublime onomatopoeia in this live album recorded at New York Poisson Rouge in August 2017. Released on the Mack Avenue label, Aimée opens with the great Peggy Lee’s It’s a Good Day, accompanied by a guitar reminiscent of Django Reinhardt. Surrounded with guitarists Adrien Moignard and Michaël Valeanu, bassist Dylan Shamat and drummer Dani Danor, Cyrille Aimée effortlessly hypnotises her audience, who don’t refrain from applauding and showing their enthusiasm! She mixes jazz standards, turns to Sidney Bechet’s French balladSi tu vois ma mère, and even dares attempt a Michael Jackson medley with Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'. Nothing can resist her golden voice, slightly nasal, a tad childlike, but overflowing with emotions, capable of embarking on improvisations that could last until dawn. © Clara Bismuth/Qobuz
Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released August 19, 2014 | Mack Avenue
Cyrille Aimée's sixth solo album and debut for the Mack Avenue label, 2014's It's a Good Day, showcases her lithe vocal prowess and eclectic, expressive jazz style. Backing Aimée here are her core sidemen of bassist Sam Anning and drummer Rajiv Jayaweera, along with a handful of guitar collaborators including Michael Valeanu, Adrien Moignard, and Guilherme Monteiro. A native of France, Aimée first became interested in jazz by performing Django Reinhardt songs with local Gypsy swing artists. Later, while honing her craft in New York City, she branched out into Brazilian bossa nova, Latin rhythms and, of course, jazz standards. She brings all of this talent and experience to bear on It's a Good Day. Included here are exuberant originals and inspired cover songs including takes on such classics as "Where or When," "Caravan," "Love Me or Leave Me," and "Tricotism." ~ Matt Collar
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Cyrille Aimée in the magazine