American jazz chanteuse Madeleine Peyroux

Enigmatic, sophisticated and intimate

“When Madeleine Peyroux sings, a song uncoils from her like smoke” The Telegraph (UK)

Melbourne, October 2013: American jazz singer-songwriter Madeleine Peyroux champions classic blues and jazz with intimately-arranged covers and original songs with a voice that has drawn comparisons with Besse Smith and Billie Holiday. Peyroux performs her new album The Blue Room live at Melbourne Recital Centre in March 2014. The Blue Room pays homage to the legendary Ray Charles, as she reinterprets his stirring album Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music, showcasing her signature charisma, country musical sensibility and profound insight into the beloved music that dominated the 1960s.

Blending swing, country, pop, folk and jazz, Peyroux’s 1996 debut album Dreamland saw the young, spirited artist praised for her smoke-and-whiskey vocals and ground-breaking interpretations of much-loved classics, with Time magazine declaring the album ‘the most exciting, involving vocal performance by a new singer’ that year. Since then, Madeleine has released another five albums to global acclaim.

‘The only thing that matters is the song’ tells Peyroux, and it is her distinctive interpretations, perceptive recordings and live performances of old classics and modern tunes, from The Beatles to Leonard Cohen, that cement the singer-songwriter as one of the most intelligent and captivating artists today.

Born in 1974 in the southern state of Georgia, and Paris-bred with a New Orleans pedigree, Madeleine grew up in a household rich in southern culture. Her childhood home was filled with the sounds of Fats Domino, Fats Waller, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Buddy Holly and of course, Ray Charles: ‘Ray Charles had a huge impact on me and even more so when I moved to Paris at age 11 because those American artists were so much more revered there than they were in the United States in the 80s’ Peyroux reveals.

Peyroux’s long-time collaborator and producer, Larry Klein discovered Ray Charles’ Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music when he was 12 years old and revisited the album regularly over the next four decades. In an inspired moment he thought a re-examination of the album would be an ideal project for Madeleine: ‘Much like Charles in 1962 jelled R&B, gospel, country and jazz, Madeleine is at a nexus blending jazz, blues, country and pop. Because she has the rare quality of being able to sing without self-consciousness, she has the ability to connect with a lyric in an insouciant way that is magical’ he tells.

“This is an album of music that is letter perfect but coursing with blood, and it is as comfortable as an old pair of shoes. And like the Ray Charles album to which it pays homage, it reinvents everything it touches.” Michael Cuscuna, jazz record producer.

Tuesday 4 & Wednesday 5 March 2014
Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, 7.30pm
Tickets: Premium $98 / A Reserve $88 ($78 concession) / B Reserve $78 ($68 concession) / C Reserve $68

For media enquiries and interview requests: Di Rolle / 0419 001 068