Brand Strategist, Monica Cost

*Every once in a while a special talent comes along who moves you out of your comfort zone. Cecile McLorin Salvant in one such person. I came to know of her through the referral of a friend to handle her PR for a date she had in Boston. When I received the call, I listened to the gentleman on the phone telling me of the extraordinary talent that his client was. He told me that she was going to be a force to be reckoned with in the jazz community and beyond. As with most managers and family members of talent, he believed her to be out of this world. I must admit that I’ve heard this story many times. I was skeptical. And then. . .

I watched the video of the new jazz voice of this season, the incomparable Cecile McLorin Salvant and instantly became a believer. Click here to hear her for  yourself. Jazz Prodigy, Cecile McLorin Salvant

Cecile was born and raised in Miami, Florida of a French mother and a Haitian father. She started classical piano studies at the tender age of 5 and has studied music ever since. Salvant

Jazz Prodigy, Cecile McLorin Salvant

became interested in classical music and studied with vocal coaches at the University of Miami. In 2007, Cécile moved to Aix-en-Provence, France, to study political science, classical and baroque voice at the Darius Milhaud Conservatory. It was in Aix-en-Provence, with reedist and teacher Jean-François Bonnel, that she started learning about improvisation, instrumental and vocal repertoire ranging from the 1910s on, and sang with her first band. In 2009, after a series of concerts in Paris, she recorded her first album, “Cécile”, with Jean-François Bonnel’s Paris Quintet. A year later, she won the Thelonious Monk Competition in Washington D.C. She currently lives and studies music in New York.

Upon meeting Cecile on the evening of Tuesday, May 8th, at the Regatta Bar, I found her to be incredibly stylish donning yet another pair of colorful eyewear, (this time in white) . . .a trademark she carries well. She was  a sweet spirit, full of love for craft and great humility. Then, the show began. WOW! The unassuming, 23 year old had the voice of legends. I suddenly understood, personally, why she’s being compared to greats like Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn. She was humorous and fully dedicated to the vocals of each song, while the Aaron Diehl Trio beautifully accompanied her.

While she is a newcomer to the jazz scene, she continues to win the hearts of fans, both abroad and here in the United States. Some of her recent performances include one with Wynton Marsalis and his swinging Jazz at the Lincoln Center Orchestra.

In her spare time, she enjoys reading and furthering her studies in classical music.

Look out for this  young new talent who has recently signed a recording contract and will be in the studio working hard this summer. You can find out more about her at and follow her at @cecilesalvant.

Monica Cost is the Founder of Evidently Assured, brand strategy firm and the Live Your Truth Experience (L.Y.T.E.). She is the Author of the new life changing book on living an authentic life called, “The Things I Used to do to Sneeze!: How to live an authentic life with awesome sensations.”  Email her at:  [email protected]. Follow her via Twitter: @monicacost and