Over the past year, Montreal-born songstress Nikki Yanofsky has headlined major jazz festivals from Canada to Japan, played Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and The Kennedy Center, toured with award-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch, performed with the legendary Count Basie Orchestra, collaborated with influential hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean, released a live CD/DVD paying tribute to her favorite singer, Ella Fitzgerald, and been interviewed by NBC’s Brian Williams. Her voice can be heard on the English-language version of, Believe, the uplifting theme music for Canadian television’s coverage of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Sounds like the career of a seasoned performer, right?
Yanofsky is indeed a seasoned performer who happens to have just turned 16. Her live debut at the age of 12 singing for more than 100,000 people at the 2006 Montreal International Jazz Festival made her the youngest artist ever to appear there. She was also the youngest artist ever to record for the renowned jazz label Verve when her cover of Airmail Special was included on the 2007 compilation We All Love Ella: Celebrating the First Lady of Song (alongside contributions by Natalie Cole, Diana Krall, Michael Bublé, and Gladys Knight). Canada’s Maclean’s magazine has praised her multi-octave range, impeccable pitch, increasingly rich tone, and unexpectedly soulful power noting that the jazz world has celebrated many a prodigy, but none has been met with this much unanimous adulation or hope since Wynton Marsalis drew his first raves in the