Haitian-American performing artist Malou Beauvoir is a highly emotive singer-songwriter and actor who brings to her artistry the unique amalgamation of her multi-cultural influences and experiences. Born in Chicago to Haitian parents, Malou was raised in New York and moved to Paris at a young age where she attended the American University in Paris.
Beauvoir’s acting career has included roles in Stephen Frears’ Oscar-winning The Queen, Élisabeth Rappeneau’s Paul et ses Femmes, in which she plays Agnes, a jazz singer (Beauvoir wrote the song she performs in the film), Christian Carion’s Farewell, and the hit TV series Perception.
Malou has enjoyed a diverse recording career ranging from featured Universal France artist to collaborations with hip hop, dance and house artists. A chance encounter eventually led to jazz studies with Anita Wardell (Best Jazz Vocalist, British Jazz Awards), and a discovery of the beauty and freedom inherent in singing jazz. Auspiciously, she was heard in Paris by French jazz producer and bassist Jean Chaudron, leading to three jazz recordings: An Evening at The Swan (2006) with the Jean Chaudron Trio; Live at The Lionel Hampton (2008) with Chaudron’s quintet, a soulful and eclectic memento of a week’s residence at the famed Paris jazz club.
In addition to International Jazz Festivals, Beauvoir has performed at NYC venues as Birdland, Minton’s Playhouse and Smalls, sharing the stage with musicians including Benny Wallace, Donald Vega, Danny Mixon, Terrell Stafford, and Hernan Riley.
Her U.S. Jazz album, Is This Love (2016), recorded at Avatar Studios (arranged by Andy Ezrin, with Bobby Mann, Ben Wittman, David Finck, Brian Pareschi and three-time Grammy nominee Donny McCaslin) rose to the top 50 on the Jazz Week charts within a few weeks. That same year she appeared on pianist Greg Murphy’s Summer Breeze, offering a cover of “Sophisticated Lady” and co-writing “A Reason to Smile.”
Following a performance alongside Cecile McLorin-Salvant at the JazzMag “DIVAS” Festival in Paris in 2017, Malou introduced a new Haitian folkloric project which culminated in her 2018 World music album Spiritwalker, her sixth recording, a tribute to her family, culture, and roots.
Malou’s art has always been infused with a spiritual quality rooted in Haitian music. This quality is now more prominent, taking on a new sense of urgency and representing the essence of her sound. It is fundamental to everything she does — both in music and in her social work.
On this new album, co-produced with Chico Boyer and Cheff Loncher (Kamoken Studios in Brooklyn), Beauvoir combines treasured folk songs written for the spirits with original compositions inspired both by contemporary social & political issues and by the ancient spirits of Haiti, whispering in her ear.
Re-engaging with these folkloric songs, Beauvoir aspires to conjure the spirits “so that people remember they are not only part of our inherited culture and our roots, but part of our life, bringing us strength and direction and teaching us how live together.”
In 2019, she commenced work on a documentary focusing on the “essence of the VAUDOU culture”, traveling to Haiti, Benin, and throughout the world to redefine the narrative of this intriguing and compelling culture.
Finally, in Sept 2019, “PAPA DAMBALLAH” from the Spiritwalker album was selected to be featured in the end credits of Suzan Beraza’s poignant documentary “MASSACRE RIVER: Woman without a Country” describing the life of a young Haitian woman born and raised in the Dominican Republic, but denied the basic right to residency. The film aired over 2,000 times in the U.S. and will be distributed via France Television as of Sept 2020.
In May 2020, “NWAYE” co-written with Paul Beaubrun, was among the winners of the International Songwriting competition and chosen from amongst 18,000 entries worldwide.
Her cover of “Higher Love” the Steve Winwood /Will Jennings iconic 1980’s hit, in Beauvoir’s opinion, truly describes this period in time with corrupt and broken political systems and the COVID pandemic. So she teamed up with KAMOKEN co-producers once again, adding some “Haitian spiciness”, to the arrangement in the hopes of getting the Haitian American community out there voting in the crucial November 2020 U.S. election.
Simultaneously, Malou was chosen by award-winning baritone, David Serrero, to record a jazz version of Beyonce’s hit Crazy in Love for the Cast album recording of his upcoming musical, “SCARFACE: The Al Capone Musical.”
In her latest release, KENBEM, Beauvoir’s creole adaptation of the Brendan Graham/Rolf Lovland classic You Raise Me Up, she alludes to the relationship between Vaudou and the Christian communities in Haiti, offering a healing balm complementing the original spiritual message of the song.
Malou has donated her performances and support to the “TIBET FUND” Gala in NY, the “Fonkoze Gala” in L.A, “Back Country Jazz” fundraiser, “Roots for Development” Fundraiser and other non-profit organizations who are working to make this world a better place.