Jazz Vocalist Gretchen Parlato
75 Russell Street
A fast-rising star called by one critic "the most original jazz singer in a generation," Gretchen Parlato performs at Bates College.
Reviewing her performance at the 2010 Newport Jazz Festival, The Boston Globe's Steve Greenlee wrote: "Working in a style that drew from bop, bossa nova and strains of world jazz, Parlato delivered her vocals in a breathy manner, nearly whispering her lyrics. . . . The evidence is piling up that young Ms. Parlato is the most original jazz singer in a generation."
"In a Dream," Parlato's debut album for ObliqSound, was released in 2009. Declared the year's best vocal jazz album by the Village Voice, "In a Dream" finds the singer embarking on a beguiling journey deep into both her own compositions and classic material by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Duke Ellington, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and others -- all of which she instantly makes her own.
Los Angeles native Parlato was innately blessed with a striking musical gift. After an education that studies at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, where she was the first student vocalist, she moved to New York in 2003. A year later, Parlato won the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition and then, in 2005, she self-released her debut CD.
In the years since, Parlato's star has only risen. She has toured internationally with her own band and as a guest of many A-list artists -- notable performances include the Hollywood Bowl with Oscar Castro-Neves, Gal Costa, Ivan Lins and Dianne Reeves; and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.
Her recording credits as a guest include Terence Blanchard's 2005 Grammy-nominated album "Flow," Kenny Barron's "The Traveler" and Esperanza Spalding's 2008 self-titled album.
Parlato was recently featured in The Documentary Channel series "Icons Among Us: Jazz in the Present Tense" and in a special called "Rising Stars" on Japan's NHK-TV, which gave a one-hour focus to her. Glowing reviews follow her around -- such as one by The New York Times' Ben Ratliff that singled out her attention to rhythm and dynamics, and proclaimed, "It's evident that she's an extraordinary singer."
Learn more: gretchenparlato.com.