Kurt Elling: 1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project, Mon. October 8, 2012


Kurt Elling
1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project
Monday, October 8, 2012
Kuumbwa Jazz

“… no singer in jazz has been as daring…” - The Washington Post

Kurt Elling is one of the most easily recognized voices in jazz today, not bad for a former philosophy major. Since his Blue Note Records debut over seventeen years ago, Elling has grown into an artist of renowned ability. He has been voted Male Vocalist of the Year for thirteen years in a row by DownBeat magazine’s Critics’ Poll. A nine-time Grammy nominee, he won Best Vocal Jazz Album in 2009. Elling’s current recording, 1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project, is a tribute to the Brill Building (the ’60s equivalent of Tin Pan Alley), whose inventive songwriters provided the pop music soundtrack for teenagers growing up in the late ’50s and early ’60s.

Elling was born in Chicago, in 1967, and grew up in Rockford, Illinois. His father was a choirmaster at the church his family attended. Early on, Kurt was heavily involved with music. He sang in the church choir and progressed through lessons on violin, French horn, piano and drums. In his early teens, he remembers seeing a Tony Bennett performance on television, with the Woody Herman Big Band. The performance inspired Elling to focus on singing. He continued to participate in the choir, learning the basics of making music. In college, he majored in history and minored in religion. Upon his transfer to the University of Chicago Divinity School, to study for his masters degree in Philosophy of Religion, Elling began to immerse himself in the local jazz scene, going to jam sessions, developing his style, and eventually teaming up with pianist Laurence Hobgood. Eventually, music won out over philosophy and Elling took to pursuing a career as a singer. During this time, he began forming his unique vocal style, an amalgam of influences ranging from jazz singer Mark Murphy, trumpeter/vocalist Chet Baker, and Jack Kerouac’s poetry. Elling’s self-described vocal “rants,” part improvised poetry and scat singing, quickly grabbed the attention of critics and audiences.

In 1995, Elling and Hobgood, with a quintet of musicians, recorded a demo tape that came to the attention of Blue Note Records. Two months later, they were signed to a long-term contract. Amazingly, his debut album, Close Your Eyes, was nominated for a Grammy award. His decade-long association with Blue Note produced seven albums before he began his current association

with Concord Records in 2006. Elling is one of the few jazz singers whose broad repertoire can comfortably span everything from the conventional stylings of Frank Sinatra and Johnny Hartman to off-the-beaten path material of King Crimson and Carole King. According to Critical Jazz.com, Elling’s latest release, 1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project, is, “A bold move and roll of the dice for this Grammy winning singer and lyricist who has earned a Grammy nomination for each of his nine recordings – a streak unmatched in Grammy history!” Come and hear why the Jazz Journalists Association has awarded Kurt Elling 2012 Male Singer of the Year!

Kurt Elling: 1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project

DATE: Monday, October 8, 2012
PLACE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIMES: 7:00 and 9:00 PM
PRICE: $25/Adv $28/Door, No Jazztix or Comps
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at: http://www.kuumbwajazz.org
MORE INFO: http://www.kuumbwajazz.org or 831-427-2227 

Media contact:
Julie Porter
(310) 385-4234

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