Jazz singer, Madeleine Peyroux, is a long time advocate and philanthropist of organizations fighting to end homelessness. She was born in Georgia, but grew up in the cities of New York City and Paris. She was inspired to start singing at age 15 after being inspired by the street musicians in the Latin Quarter of Paris. One year later she joined the Lost Wandering Blues and Jazz Band and toured Europe. In 1996 she released her first album, “Dreamland” and since then has released an addition three albums.
To pursue the playing of music as a career soon after, was for me a continuation of my time in those streets, with the families I had created and the echoes I had left behind.”
The singer, songwriter and guitarist has been compared to the likes of Billie Holiday. She has preformed all around the world. She has toured with big names, like Sarah McLachlan, but has also headlined her own tours around the country and world. Starting in 2005, Peyroux began adding a $1.00 surcharge to her concert tickets to raise money for local homeless organizations. Her efforts have raised thousands for organizations like Real Change in Seattle, Street Roots in Portland and the Emergency Family Assistance Association in Boulder, among many others. She is a strong supporter of the work of the National Coalition for the Homeless.
In addition to her philanthropic commitment, she was recently featured on a CD compilation called “Give US Your Poor.” The album features musicians, such as Bruce Springsteen, and collaborations with currently or formerly homeless musicians. The proceeds from the album benefit the national awareness campaign, Give US Your Poor. Madeleine Peyroux is a musician dedicated to making real change.
By Samantha McClean, Former NCH Intern
*Photo used with permission from Madeleine Peyroux