Cécile McLorin Salvant: Ogresse

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Cécile McLorin Salvant
Cécile McLorin Salvant © unbezeichnet

Introducing: Ogress

An ogress is a female ogre, a monstrous cannibal. The eponymous »hero« of the project of the same name was born in the imagination of the extraordinary singer Cécile McLorin Salvant when she found herself standing before the mythically charged painting of a voodoo goddess by the Haitian artist Gerard Fortune. Salvant, who has mixed Haitian, French and American roots, is a trained Baroque singer and at the same time one of the strongest improvisers among female vocalists in recent jazz history. The painting prompted her to think up a story about a huge monster that lives in the woods and eats anyone who makes the mistake of coming within its grasp.

Salvant made a complete set of drawings of this imagined world which she plans to use as the basis for a film, and she also composed music to go with her texts, which a friend arranged for her and a 13-piece chamber ensemble. »Ogresse« has rarely been heard live up to now, and it’s likely to be one of the highlights of this season’s jazz programme at the Elbphilharmonie.

Cécile McLorin Salvant is a charismatic singer. Blessed with perfect intonation and a sensational range of vocal timbres, she already sent the Elbphilharmonie audience into raptures at concerts with smaller line-ups in 2017 and again in 2021. There can be no doubt that she’ll do that again this time round. Her arranger Darcy James Argue produces unconventional music almost non-stop as the conductor, composer and »ringleader« of his own, formidable big band »Secret Society«. And for »Ogresse«, too, he has put together a hand-picked team of musicians, and has created his own fascinating musical world to accompany McLorin Salvant’s magical songs.


Cécile McLorin Salvant vocals, composition

Darcy James Argue direction, arrangements

Alexa Tarantino saxophone, flute, clarinet

Tom Christensen saxophone, bass clarinet, oboe, cor anglais

Kirk Knuffke trumpet

Joshua Roseman trombone, tuba

Warren Wolf vibraphone, marimba

Brandon Seabrook guitar, banjo

Helen Sung piano, organ, melodica

David Wong double bass

Samuel Torres percussion

Mivos Quartet

Olivia de Prato violin
Maya Bennardo violin
Victor Lowrie Tafoya viola
Tyler J. Borden violoncello




Jazz at the Elbphilharmonie

Promoter: HamburgMusik

Supported by Stiftung Elbphilharmonie

During your visit

Elbphilharmonie Plaza

A public viewing platform on the 8th floor of the Elbphilharmonie

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Food and Drink

Before the concert and in the interval

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Coughing, clapping, chatting

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