‘Sloane: A Jazz Singer’, Screening At Cannes Market, Elevates Brilliant Vocalist To Rightful Place In Music History

Sloane: A Jazz Singer

Later today, the Cannes Film Festival will reverberate with the sound of one of America’s great jazz singers.

An exclusive screening of Sloane: A Jazz Singer will take place this afternoon at the Riviera 1, the primary screening venue of the Marché du Film. The documentary directed by Michael Lippert explores the vocal artistry of Carol Sloane, who recorded more than two dozen albums in a career that began in the early 1960s.

Sloane: A Jazz Singer was named Best Documentary at the Santa Fe Film Festival and the Rhode Island International Film Festival and was an official selection at the 2024 Palm Springs Film Festival, and the 2023 Cinequest, DocEdge, and Heartland film festivals.

“Sloane: A Jazz Singer follows legendary vocalist Carol Sloane as she prepares for one last live recording in New York at the age of 82 while reflecting on a remarkable but largely unknown career involving everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to The Beatles,” notes a synopsis. “Sloane’s knockout debut at the 1961 Newport Jazz Festival led to her immediate signing by Columbia Records, which landed her gigs with the most-renowned jazz artists of the era, including Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae, and more. She was hailed by late-night luminaries like Johnny Carson, who featured her regularly, and later called ‘the greatest living jazz singer’ by The Washington Post.”

The synopsis continues, “But with the onset of the British Invasion of the ’60s, her star began to dim as quickly as it had burst upon the scene, resulting in personal, emotional and financial struggles that kept her on the edge of insolvency for most of her life. And though she endured miraculously through a six-decade career that won her international acclaim, the public at large still doesn’t know her name.”

Michael Feinstein, himself one of the leading interpreters of The Great American Songbook, calls the film “a superior musical tour de force and virtual shot in the arm, documenting not only Carol’s career through her emotional story, but also brilliantly encapsulating a history of popular music through changing times and passing fancies.”

Producer Stephen Barefoot is expected to be in attendance at today’s screening in the Palais des Festivals. Barefoot “befriended Sloane on his first night working as a young bartender in an underground nightclub in Raleigh, North Carolina in the mid-1970s,” according to a release. “Eventually, Sloane would work as Barefoot’s partner in his own jazz club in the early ’80s. They remained friends for the rest of her life. When she asked him ‘Will anyone care about me when I’m gone?’ he felt compelled to tell her story, and Sloane: A Jazz Singer became the answer.”

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