ObliqSound has announced the signing of its newest artist, vocalist Gretchen Parlato. Gretchen Parlato has appeared as a guest on three previous ObliqSound releases, and 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.
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, click to www.gretchenparlato.com and www.myspace.com/gretchenparlato