Vocalist Gretchen Parlato is a forward-thinking jazz singer with an emotive, languid style and a bent toward mixing various musical influences into a modern creative jazz aesthetic. A California native, Parlato grew up listening to a variety of musical genres before focusing on jazz. In 2001, Parlato became the first vocalist ever admitted into the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance. Three years later, she won first place in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition. Subsequently, she has appeared on a bevy of other artists' albums, including recordings by bassist Esperanza Spalding, pianist Kenny Barron, and trumpeter Terence Blanchard, among others. In 2005, she released her debut independent self-titled album. In 2009, she delivered her sophomore album, In a Dream, featuring backing by West African guitarist Lionel Loueke. Parlato returned in 2011 with the album Lost and Found, featuring pianists Taylor Eigsti and Robert Glasper. In 2013, Parlato released the concert album Live in NYC, which featured her performing at New York City's Rockwood Hall in 2012. ~ Matt Collar, Rovi