Cyrille Aimée to Share Her Sondheim Adventure at Spruce Peak

Cyrille Aimée's Sondheim Adventure began in 2013, when she was invited to participate in a tribute concert for the Broadway legend at New York's City Center, co-starring with Bernadette Peters and backed by Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Her show-stealing performance was widely praised, but the most memorable compliment came from the composer himself. "You made me cry," Sondheim told Aimée backstage after opening night. "That was pretty powerful," Aimée recalls with a touch of understatement.

Aimée was almost completely unfamiliar with Sondheim's work prior to that life-changing experience. Broadway musicals aren't a prominent part of the culture in her native France, where she grew up introduced to a wealth of diverse music by her French father and Dominican mother: everything from Michael Jackson to French chanson, Flamenco to country-western. She famously spent her childhood sneaking out to sing in nearby gypsy encampments, then honed her talents singing on street corners in Europe and braving the notoriously tough audiences at New York's Apollo Theatre.

Aimée laughs at the idea that Sondheim claims to not know anything about jazz. "It's insane," she says. "His music is so rich in harmony and the melodies are so intricate. I don't like putting names on music, but whatever jazz does, his music does it too."

The genius of Stephen Sondheim stems from the revered composer's ability to plumb universal human emotions even in the form of the most outré characters - be they cannibalistic barbers, presidential assassins, or fairy tale witches. Cyrille Aimée discovered that gift first-hand as she took a deep dive into the Sondheim songbook for her new album, Move On: A Sondheim Adventure (February 22 via Mack Avenue Records). What began as a celebration of a legendary Broadway songwriter became a work of cathartic autobiography as one song after another captured her deepest personal feelings.

"I get goosebumps just thinking about it," Aimée says. "At the moment that I was working on this album I was going through a lot of life changes. The more I listened to the songs, the more I realized they were really connected to what I was going through. At a very rough time, these songs were saving me."

While its narrative arc is a self-contained story, Move On: A Sondheim Adventure is just the beginning of a new chapter in Aimée's remarkable journey. It's the French-born singer's first release since disbanding the acclaimed band she's led for the last several years, to which she bid a fond adieu on her last album, Cyrille Aimée Live. It's also her first since moving from Brooklyn to New Orleans, the latest music-rich city that she's been able to call home.

Head to Stowe to hear Cyrille Aimée bring this musical journey to you on Friday, March 8 at 7pm at Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center!

To purchase tickets visit SprucePeakArts.org or call 802.760.4634.

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