Thursday Oct 17, 2019
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The artist sings the songs of Louis Armstrong, Nat “King” Cole, Jon Hendricks, Shirley Horn and Nancy Wilson.
Grammy Award winning vocalist Kurt Elling, renowned for his “singular combination of robust swing and poetic insight,” has secured his place among the world’s foremost jazz vocalists. The New York Times declared him “the standout male vocalist of our time,” while The Guardian called him “a kind of Sinatra with superpowers.” The heir to jazz pioneers Eddie Jefferson, King Pleasure, and Jon Hendricks, Elling is the contemporary voice of vocalese – the art of putting words to improvised solos of jazz artists. With his warm, rich baritone that uses the full span of his four- octave range, his voice is instantly recognizable and displays an astonishing technical facility and emotional depth. A compelling storyteller, Elling is able to transform timeless standards as well as craft his own captivating originals, always “balancing elegant lyricism and technical mastery with wry humor, emotional depth, and keen observations into the human condition.” Testament to that sentiment is his most recent release, The Questions (2018), co-produced by Branford Marsalis. The album shows Elling on a search for answers to the social, political and spiritual issues of the day through the songs of Bob Dylan, Carla Bley and Leonard Bernstein, and the poetry of Rumi and Wallace Stevens. Elling has garnered unprecedented accolades, including a fourteen-year run at the top of the DownBeat Critics Poll, a dozen Grammy nominations, and eight Jazz Journalists Association awards for “Male Singer of the Year.” The Washington Post wrote, “Since the mid-1990s, no singer in jazz has been as daring, dynamic or interesting as Kurt Elling. With his soaring vocal flights, his edgy lyrics and sense of being on a musical mission, he has come to embody the creative spirit in jazz.” Tonight’s concert: A Century of Heroes— Kurt Elling sings Louis Armstrong, Nat “King” Cole, Jon Hendricks, Shirley Horn, and Nancy Wilson— features a quintet with Diego Rivera, saxophone; Tito Carrillo, trumpet; Stu Mindeman, piano; Clark Sommers, bass; and Ulysses Owens, drums.
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