ObliqSound Signs Vocalist Gretchen Parlato

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American vocalist is the first female vocalist on six-year-old independent label.

instantly memorable on their album Scenarios, and just this spring, co-wrote the lyrics and sang as a guest on

ObliqSound is pleased to announce the signing of its newest artist, American vocalist Gretchen Parlato. Having appeared as a guest on three previous ObliqSound releases, the singer who Herbie Hancock describes as having a "deep, almost magical connection to the music" will release her debut ObliqSound album in 2009. The album will combine Parlato's vocals in duo and ensemble, working with Lionel Loueke on guitar and vocals, Aaron Parks on piano and Fender Rhodes, Kendrick Scott on drums and Derrick Hodge on acoustic and electric bass. Parlato was just named one of the top rising star female vocalists in Downbeat Magazine's 56th Annual Critics Poll, and is the first female vocalist signed to six-year-old independent label ObliqSound.

Gretchen Parlato portrait "Gretchen Parlato is one of the most distinctive vocalists in jazz today and is part of an incredible community of artists and friends that make up the ObliqSound family," said Michele Locatelli, president and co-founder of ObliqSound. "She was outstanding on several tracks of Virgin Forest (including the Independent Music Award winning song "Kponnon Kpete,") helped to make Andy Milne & Gregoire Maret's rendition of "Moon River" instantly memorable on their album Scenarios, and just this spring, co-wrote the lyrics and sang as a guest on "Clouds" on Massimo Biolcati's album Persona. I look forward to presenting this same inspiring and personal touch with her upcoming album."

"I am thrilled to be working with ObliqSound," added Parlato. "I respect the fact that they support and enhance their artists, without trying to place them within boundaries. Michele Locatelli has always been supportive of me and my musical vision, and I look forward to working together to create a beautiful album."

Parlato was the first vocalist ever to be selected for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, chosen by none other than Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Terence Blanchard. She took first prize in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Vocals Competition in 2004. Since then, Parlato has toured internationally with her own band and as a guest for many others. Notable performances include La Villette in Paris with Wayne Shorter, 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 D.C. Her recording credits include Terence Blanchard's 2005 Grammy-nominated album Flow and most recently, Esperanza Spalding's 2008 self-titled album. In addition to her upcoming US, European and Australian tours, she can be heard this fall on Kenny Barron's upcoming release The Traveler. For more information about Gretchen Parlato, please see http://www.gretchenparlato.com and http://www.myspace.com/gretchenparlato

About ObliqSound:

ObliqSound is an independent record label that provides a home for artists around the globe interested in creating music that crosses the boundaries of traditional music labeling. Dedicated to both an instrumental and vocal series, ObliqSound endeavors to create a body of timeless, genre-defying music. Recent releases include John Shannon's understated vocal and guitar album American Mystic, Grand Pianoramax's piano/drums/spoken word project on The Biggest Piano In Town, and pianist Alon Yavnai's multicultural Travel Notes. The label will present its first evening at the Montreux Jazz Festival on July 12, 2008. For more about ObliqSound, please see http://www.obliqsound.com and http://www.myspace.com/obliqsound


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Stephanie Jo Klein