Cyrille Aimée

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Cyrille Aimée was raised mainly in France, although her French/Dominican origin is ever present in her music. An inquisitive girl, she grew up in Samois-sur-Seine, and as a youngster she recalls how she escaped out of her bedroom window to the gypsy encampment where they had gathered for the annual Django Reinhart Festival. That was how she fell in love with gypsy music and their way of life. In the years that followed, she would sing on street corners with fellow musicians while travelling around Europe.

During one of these trips, she found herself at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival in 2007, and won the vocal competition, recording her debut album with the prize money. She resumed her career and participated in the French equivalent of the contest ‘American Idol’, where she was selected as one of the finalists. When she was told she would only be allowed to sing numbers chosen by the programme, her gypsy spirit rebelled and consequently, she was disqualified.

A bit later, Cyrille moved to the USA and became a finalist in the legendary Thelonious Monk Jazz Vocal Competition in 2010, before winning the Sarah Vaughn International Jazz Vocal Competition in 2012. Aimée’s talent attracted the attention of Stephen Sondheim, and in August 2014 the New York Times referred to her as “a bravura turn, presented with a smile”. The release of Let’s Get Lost, her second album for Mack Avenue Records, converted Aimée into an artist in her own right.

Her major label debut with the release of It’s A Good Day brought to light a different side to the vocalist, much more radiant. And during two years of touring the world with the repertoire of this album, Aimée goes back to her musical & personal development, relating her story of a new and fruitful love. She was accompanied by two remarkable guitarrists, French/Italian Adrien Moignard & Michael Valeanu, as well as the Australian rhythm section featuring bassist Sam Anning and drummer Raj Jayaweera; and so her popularity rapidly grows.

Aimée refers to the album as “a journey through a relationship”, in which she returns to her Latin roots with the sensual rendition over Dominican superstar Juan Luis Guerra’s Spanish poetry; imaginary trips about exploring a lover inside out, as well as a tribute to her motherland, the Dominican Republic. “I wanted to sing something for my people there and make them proud”, she explains.

Aimée’s expressive singing conjures a spellbinding reverie on “Lazy Afternoon,” visited by the ghost of French impressionism. The mischievous “Three Little Words” serves as an occasion to hear drummer Jayaweera’s tasteful soloing, before he turns Edith Piaf’s “T’es Beau tu Sais” into a tender, ethereal mambo. The moving lyrics are an ode to beauty as perceived by a blind woman. Then comes the roaring twenties crackle of the title track, “Let’s Get Lost,” and the delicate nostalgia of “Samois à Moi,”co-written with Diego Figueiredo. The latter serves as Aimée’s love letter to the place where it all started, long-gone summer nights in a gypsy wonderland.

 

CYRILLE AIMÉE

Cyrille Aimée – vocals
Hila Kulik – piano
Wayne Tucker – trumpet
Dani Danor – drums
Matteo Bortone – bass

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