It came as a big surprise when New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton agreed to play the Jazz Center, but only because he chose to perform as a duo with French vocalist Cyrille Aimée. The simple question to him: trumpet and voice? His response: “She has a looper, and I play all the instruments: trumpet, keys, bass… and we often sound like a full band.” After listening to samples of their performances and the audience’s gleeful response, we realized that this duo performance is going to create some of the hippest magic of the season.
Nicholas Payton is one of the leading trumpeters of our time. His first major recording was with Elvin Jones. He received a Grammy award for an album he recorded with elder statesman Doc Cheatham. Payton now has 15 albums out as a leader. He is also a provocative thinker who writes: “I don’t play jazz…I play Postmodern New Orleans Music.”
During the annual gathering of the Django Reinhardt Festival in her hometown in France, Cyrille Aimée would take part in the fireside sing-alongs that exposed her to the joys of gypsy jazz, and their spontaneous, nomadic and music-filled way of life. Traveling to New York for school she developed her skills and locked in her passion for creative improvising and jazz standards. She is winner of the Montreux Jazz Vocal competition, the Sarah Vaughan International Vocal competition and was a finalist in the Thelonious Monk competition. Aimée now has 8 albums out as a leader.