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Cassandra Wilson

I was never interested in singing in the church choir or in school. I was more interested in becoming a musician.

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I've often cringed when I heard myself described as a jazz singer. I've always thought of myself as a jazz vocalist.

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My grandmother sang, too, and she was really loud. It was this wild kind of singing. I count her among my influences.

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Miles Davis was a master. In every phase of his career, he understood that this music was a tribute to the African muse.

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My father had all kinds of instruments in the house that he would hide from my mother. He bought them through mail order!

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I'm always looking for ways to develop as an artist, especially as a jazz artist-to find different ways of testing my voice.

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Everything I do is collaborative. It's just my way. I'm really very interested in how the other musicians perceive the song.

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Miles Davis was doing something inherently African, something that has to do with all forms of American music, not just jazz.

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There was a train that would come by our house every night, and I'd hear the whistle blow. That is the sweetest memory I have.

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I'm always imagining some sort of story behind the song, even the ones I haven't written. I'm actively engaging in playacting.

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