Édelène Fitzgerald is only the third jazz artist to win the honor created in 2019. The Oliver-Jones Prize (named after the illustrious pianist from Little Burgundy) is awarded to jazz students from visible minorities. A $5,000 scholarship comes with the privilege of performing at the festival this Saturday, July 8.
She therefore succeeds drummer Christina Beaudry-Cardenas, winner of 2022 and also from the jazz program at the University of Montreal. “It’s an unparalleled showcase to show who I am, to show who Edo is. »
Edo? That’s his nickname. She is 23 years old.
“I am first and foremost a singer of all genres,” she announces. A singer who can sing jazz, but also country. The more versatile you are, the better. »
For now, she is falling for Nubiyan Twist. “The influence of this London collective will be reflected in my concert”, admits the one who will not miss the show of Earth, Wind and Fire, on August 9, at the Bell Center.
“I have a vocal style that carries high, I like to say that I sing loudly, I shout [laughs]. »
Édelène was adopted at 9 months old and grew up in the village of Saint-Jude, near Saint-Hyacinthe. Fitzgerald is the family name of his adoptive father. “When I was young, I used to joke that Ella was a distant great-aunt! »
After having assimilated all the rudiments of the trombone at Cégep de Drummondville, she turned to jazz singing at university.
“The trombone brought me more stress and anxiety than pleasure. My teacher Jean-Nicolas Trottier really encouraged me to persevere, but when I really started to sing, I completely abandoned the instrument. »
Malika Tirolien follows her in her learning and development.
“She made me listen to Lonely World by Moses Sumney. I worked a lot on this song, it was my pet peeve, but the breathing techniques help to relieve the stress, to perfect my approach on the high notes because basically, I have a voice quite severe. »
The sultry a cappella intro, the harmonic progression and the cathartic finale: the Fitzgerald version is arm-raising.
It certainly cultivates ambiguity with jubilation. With her contemporaries, we have entered the era of the changing of the guard, a bit like Cassandra Wilson at the end of the 1980s.
In her portfolio, we taste the arrangements she concocted on an interpretation of the song Halo by Beyoncé.
“I would like to deepen my knowledge about Haitian culture. Maybe incorporate more Creole into my compositions? she asks herself.
Interpretations, new arrangements, compositions: the musician, who hopes to release an EP before the end of the year, announces a jazz, swing, ballad, blues and afro maelstrom during her performance.
Rehearsals follow until the concert: “Oliver Jones, I can’t wait to meet him. I hope he will come to the show. »