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Cécile McLorin Salvant Wins Monk Competition for Jazz Vocals

Vocalist wins $20,000 in scholarship and a record deal with Concord Music Group

Competition judges: Dee Dee Bridgewater, Al Jarreau, Dianne Reeves, Patti Austin, Kurt Elling
First Place winner Cecile McLorin Salvant
Cécile McLorin Salvant
First Place winner Cecile McLorin Salvant with Jane Monheit, Ledisi, Patti Austin
First place winner Cecile McLorin Salvant with Reggie Thomas, Rodney Whitaker, Carl Allen
Gladys Knight, with Terri Lyne Carrington
Patti Austin and Terence Blanchard
Al Jarreau, Jane Monheit, Terence Blanchard, Ledisi, Kurt Elling, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Kevin Eubanks congratulate First Place winner Cecile McLorin Salvant (center).
Three Finalists (from left): Cyrille Aimee, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Charenee Wade
Composers Competition winner Vadim Neselovskyi receives award from BMI's Fred Cannon
Dee Dee Bridgewater at Monk Institute Gala

Vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant, from Miami, Fla., won the Thelonious Monk Competition for Jazz Vocals. Ms. Salvant competed against other finalists Charenée Wade and Cyrille Aimée, who finished in second and third place, respectively. Each won scholarship money of varying levels, but Salvant also received a record deal with the Concord Music Group. The Competition was held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

Salvant, who was one of the crowd favorites during the Semi-finals held the day before. For her Finals performance, she sang two ballads – “If This Isn’t Love” and “I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone.” Each contestant performed two songs of their own choosing, backed by a trio of Reggie Thomas on piano, Rodney Whitaker on bass and Carl Allen on drums.

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