Cassandra Wilson ©KLRU photo by Scott Newton

Cassandra Wilson



Cassandra Wilson by Zach Landrum


Cassandra Wilson Taping Set List

Known for incorporating a heady mix of roots blues, country and even rock influences in her music, American jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson makes her Austin City Limits debut performing songs from her newest release.

After moving to New York City in the early 80s, the Mississippi native met saxophonist Steve Coleman and became one of the founding members of the M-Base Collective. Her landmark 1993 solo album Blue Light ‘Til Dawn opened the door for a new generation of jazz singers seeking an approach and repertoire that challenged the supremancy of the American Standard songbook. In the years since Blue Light ‘Til Dawn, Wilson has continued to establish innovative ways of engaging vintage blues, country and folk music with jazz, while winning awards of distinction that include two Grammys, the Django D’Or, the Edison Music Award, and a marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail. As the critic Gary Giddins once wrote, Wilson is “a singer blessed with an unmistakable timbre and attack who has expanded the playing field.”

Released in 2015, Coming Forth By Day pays tribute to Billie Holiday and finds a way to revive the sound and spirit of Lady Day with a fresh, creative approach. For her nineteenth album, Wilson made it a priority to conjure Holiday’s spirit more than her historic sound. “The idea was to find her essence, the sacred center of her spirit and bring it through our treatment of her songs,” Wilson said.

Coming Forth By Day has received overwhelming praise. Associated Press called Wilson a “masterful interpreter of songs,” and The New Yorker wrote, “Cassandra Wilson, jazz’s reigning diva, puts a post-modernist spin on classic Holiday performances.”