Madeleine Peyroux (born January 1, 1973, Athens, Georgia, United States) is an American jazz singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Peyroux (French pronunciation: [madˈlɛn pɛˈʁu]) is noted for her vocal style, which has been compared to that of Billie Holiday.
Peyroux has cited Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, Patsy Cline, Édith Piaf, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Mercer, Charlie Chaplin, Serge Gainsbourg and Bob Dylan as influences on her music.
Peyroux's family was in academia. When Peyroux was six, her father moved the family to Brooklyn so he could pursue a career in acting. She grew up in New York City and southern California; when her parents divorced, she moved with her mother to Paris at age 13. In several interviews, Peyroux described her parents as "hippies" and classifies them as "eccentric educators", which helped her to pursue a career in music. She has stated that her father would "listen to old records all the time" and her mother had a ukulele that she learned how to play while she was still a child.
Peyroux started singing at the age of fifteen, when she discovered street musicians in the Latin Quarter in Paris. She joined a group called the Riverboat Shufflers, first by passing around the hat, and then by singing. At sixteen she joined The Lost Wandering Blues and Jazz Band and spent a number of years touring Europe performing jazz standards.
Her first album, Dreamland was released in 1996 by Atlantic Records, and gained widespread attention. The disc was recorded over five nights with an unusually eclectic crew of some of NY's finest - guitarist Marc Ribot, saxman James Carter, pianist Cyrus Chestnut, keyboardist Charlie Giordano, violinist Regina Carter, drummers Kenny Wollesen & Leon Parker, with bassist/arranger Greg Cohen sharing production credit with Atlantic A&R man Yves Beauvais. It featured a cover of Patsy Cline's "Walkin' After Midnight", Édith Piaf's signature-song "La Vie en rose" and two Bessie Smith covers, among others. This first record resulted in her being referred to as the 21st century Billie Holiday, particularly owing to a "Gettin' Some Fun Out of Life" cover and to "Hey Sweet Man", an original song with a style highly reminiscent of Holiday. Time called it "the most exciting, involving vocal performance by a new singer this year". Peyroux began opening for artists such as Sarah McLachlan and Cesária Évora, and made appearances at jazz festivals and on the Lilith Fair tour. In 1997, she made an appearance at the Montreal Jazz Festival, where she performed with some guest artists, including James Carter. In this concert, Madeleine performed some standards like "I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate", a cover included on Montreal's 30-years Best Of. Fanart Banner