Thirty-year-old Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant has established herself as a modern-day torchbearer of the tradition. On 2018’s The Window, Salvant and pianist Sullivan Fortner took on great American standards (and songs that should enter the canon, like Stevie Wonder’s “Visions” and Aretha Franklin’s “One Step Ahead”) with a stripped-down, improvisational style that makes it feel like you’re in an intimate jazz club. Pitchfork praised Salvant for the way she uses her voice during her take on West Side Story’s “Somewhere” to recontextualize its lyrics: “Near the end, she imbues it with the melancholy of a daydream she knows will never come true. … To make it sound relevant for our moment, she introduces the idea that ‘somewhere’ might actually be anywhere but here.” She returns to UMS with longtime collaborator Aaron Diehl on piano.
Performances begin at 6 & 9 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6, at the Lydia Medelssohn Theatre; 911 N. University, Ann Arbor; ums.org. Tickets are $45, or $12-$20 for students.
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