For the young American Jazz Singer, Madeleine Peyroux, it all began with the release of a debut album, Dreamland in 1996 when she was hailed by critics as one of the year’s breakthrough artists. Time magazine said the album represented “the most exciting…vocal performance by a new singer”. Remarkably, the album was recorded over a period of just five nights and with some of New York’s finest musicians. The next milestone came in 2004 when Peyroux released Careless Love, an album which sold over a million copies. Several more critically acclaimed discs followed over the next decade. As her career took off, Madeleine toured extensively and her travels over time covered North and South America, Europe, and Asia.
Madeleine Peyroux’s vocal style is most often compared with that of the famous blues singer, Billie Holiday (1915-1959), but Peyroux cites a number of other classic influences, among them, Bessie Smith, Patsy Cline, and Édith Piaf. Peyroux’s voice is soft, sultry and melodious, evocative and slightly husky. Singing to the strains of her guitar, Madeleine creates an intimate and relaxing jazz club atmosphere, drawing the listener into the unfolding mood-stories of her songs, whether they are interpretations of old favourites like Leonard Cohen’s entrancing Dance me to the End of Love, or new pieces of her own composition.
Madeleine grew up first in New York City and then in southern California. As a child she loved the old records that her father listened to and also learned how to play her mother’s ukulele. Madeleine was thirteen when her parents divorced; and, in an important twist of fate, she went with her mother to Paris. Inspired by street musicians she encountered in the Latin Quarter of Paris, Madeleine began singing at the age of fifteen and gained tremendous experience on tour across Europe with The Lost Wandering Blues & Jazz Band.
He career soon took off with great albums and successful tours. Peyroux was proclaimed the twenty-first-century Billie Holiday because of songs reminiscent of Holiday such as Gettin’ Some Fun out of Life and an original song, Hey Sweet Man, which she sang in a style distinctly reminiscent of Holiday. Peyroux made appearances at festivals including the Montreal Jazz Festival, where she made a splash performing well-loved classics such as I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate. Albums featured Peyroux’s engaging interpretation of great classics by famous American and Canadian stars such as Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, KD Lang, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. She also included her own songs such as J’ai Deux Amours (I Have Two Loves). In 2007, Madeleine Peroux was awarded Best International Jazz Artist at the BBC Jazz Awards. Released in 2013, The Blue Room, Peyroux’s most recent album is contemporary in style. Peyroux’s songs and ballads have been featured in television ads and TV series as well as in cinema, such as the 2014 film, Diplomacy for which J’ai Deux Amours as the theme song.
Royal Opera House Muscat will present Madeleine Peyroux’s exciting jazz concert on Thursday 16th February 2017 at 7.00 pm. For further information and booking consult the ROHM website – www.rohmuscat.org.om