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    Cyrille Aimée - Bamboo Shoots (Official Video) Cyrille Aimée

    About

    Cyrille Aimée (Sur­real M­A) is a French­Dominican vocalist and actress. Winner of the Montreux Jazz Festival's Vocal Competition, the Sarah Vaughn International Jazz Vocal Competition and finalist in the Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition, Aimée is—in the words of Will Friedwald of The Wall Street
    Journal—"one of the most promising jazz singers of her generation." In the same Wall Street Journal
    feature (which included vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant), Friedwald declared both to be “astonishing
    creative singers, with a brilliant sound, fresh ideas, impeccable rhythm and an overall approach that
    honors tradition without being shackled to the past."
    Aimée was born in Fontainebleau, France, to a French father and Dominican mother. Her introduction
    to jazz was the result of the fortuitous location of her upbringing, the village Samois­sur­Seine—the
    same place where legendary gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt had lived. Every June for decades,
    gypsies have descended upon Samois, setting up caravans in nearby meadows for the annual Django Reinhardt Festival. During those June nights many years ago, after her parents would fall asleep, a
    young, curious Aimée would climb out her bedroom window and wander into the gypsy encampments.
    Aimée would sing by the fire with Django’s descendents and began to fall in love with the gypsy way of
    life—scampering home before the sun rose. Explained Aimée, "I was hypnotized by gypsy music which
    made me want to tap my feet? music that swings makes me so happy."
    As a teenager, Aimée performed in various Parisian cafés and clubs. When her family moved to
    Singapore, she remained in Paris to attend the American School of Modern Music. She also auditioned
    for "Star Academy," a kind of French "American Idol." Selected to be one of 16 semi­finalists, Aimée
    had second thoughts when handed a contract that tied her up every which way for years—including the
    songs to sing. This was too much for her gypsy spirit—so she quit. The French media so pursued
    Aimée, she sought refuge in her mother's homeland of the Dominican Republic.
    Given it’s proximity to New York City, Aimée then opted to attend SUNY Purchase on a scholarship.
    She discovered campus life as a freshman and Manhattan as a sophomore—and her musical influences
    grew in leaps and bounds.
    In 2006, Aimée organized a backpacking tour of Europe where she and musician friends played and
    sang on street corners. In 2007, the group targeted jazz festivals where they performed for food and
    lodging. On a whim, Aimée entered the Montreux Jazz Voice Competition and won? the prize included
    the financing of a her first full­length recording, "Cyrille Aimée & The Surreal Band." Just months later
    another surreal experience would follow: Aimée found herself performing on a major European tour with
    the French supergroup Caravan Palace—filling­in for their ailing lead vocalist.
    In recent years Aimée has toured in many different contexts and has created several self­produced
    recordings, including duet projects with Brazilian guitarist Diego Figueiredo. She won the Sarah
    Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition in 2012, the same year she released the self­produced,
    “Live at Birdland". Aimée's talents caught the attention of Stephen Sondheim, who cast her in an Encores Special Presentation starring Bernadette Peters at New York City's City Center in November
    2013. Holding her own as an actress, the New York Daily News exclaimed, "Aimée is the revelation."
    In August 2014, The New York Times referred to Aimée's major label release "It's a Good Day" as "a
    bravura turn, presented with a smile." Featuring originals as well as covers of classics, the band is the
    result of Aimee’s unique musical vision: bass, drums and three guitars (Brazilian, gypsy and jazz).
    Aimée's hybrid of influences has resulted in a sound that's at once both fresh and enlivening, which is to
    say nothing of her singular voice—destined to enthrall audiences for decades to come.

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