Franco-American Madeleine Peyroux’s background is worthy of Edith Piaf: Raised in the arts by bohemian parents, Peyroux spent time in Southern California, Brooklyn and Paris. She toured Europe at the tender age of 15; inspired by street musicians in Paris’ Latin Quarter, Peyroux passed a hat through the crowd for spare change.
Since then, Peyroux has become a premier interpreter of jazz standards, bringing her whiskey-on-the-rocks sound to audiences all over the world. Never forgetting her early days as a busker, Peyroux dropped out of sight after releasing her 1996 debut record Dreamland on Atlantic Records — returning for a time to the life of a street musician.
The jazz singer’s distinctive voice recalls Billie Holiday’s immediacy and vulnerability — she’s singing truth in your ear and your ear alone. Peyroux’s repertoire includes the immortal Piaf classic “La Vie En Rose” from Dreamland, as well as covers of non-jazz songwriters like Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and Tom Waits.
Peyroux’s recordings have increasingly featured original compositions — collaborations with songwriters like Walter Becker, Joe Henry and Julian Coryell, as well as assorted works penned entirely alone. Her 2011 release, Standing On The Rooftops, shows the singer moving away from jazz — experimenting with country, soul, pop and R&B. 2013’s Blue Room, out now on Decca, shows Peyroux returning to her lush jazz and blues roots.
Madeleine Peyroux plays 7:30 pm Friday, June 28, at The Shedd; $34-$46.