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Gregory Porter
Gregory Porter Gregory Porter

Gregory Porter
@ the Love Supreme Jazz Festival
7 July 2013

Click an image to enlarge.

Gregory Porter’s Desert Island Discs

Which 2 albums would you take with you to a desert island?

Eddie Harris, Les McCann – Swiss Movement
Nat King Cole – Nature Boy


With a voice that can caress or confront, embrace or exhort, Gregory Porter exhibits such an incredible degree of vocal mastery, that no less a jazz luminary than Wynton Marsalis has gone on record to call him “a fantastic young singer.” Born in Los Angeles, raised in Bakersfield, residing presently in Bedstuy, Brooklyn, Porter performs around the UK, Europe, Russia and USA. A frequent guest performer with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Porter also maintains a long-standing residency at Smoke Jazz Club in New York.

Porter’s debut recording “Water” received a Grammy Nomination in 2010 for Best Jazz Album. It was produced by saxophonist, pianist, composer and good friend Kamau Kenyatta. Kenyatta who bears much of the responsibility for Porter’s career trajectory, which can be traced back to Porter’s early days singing in small jazz clubs in San Diego. He lived there while at San Diego State University on a football scholarship, as an outside linebacker, until a shoulder injury sidelined him permanently. Recognising his talents Kenyatta, along with saxophonist Daniel Jackson, nurtured the burgeoning performer and as Porter says, “taught him what he needed to know.” Kenyatta invited Porter to visit him in the studio in Los Angeles, where he was producing the flutist Hubert Laws’ Remembers the Unforgettable Nat King Cole. Certainly Kenyatta was aware of Porter’s childhood infatuation with Cole’s music and certainly he could hear the echoes of Cole’s mellow baritone in Porter’s own voice.

Eloise Laws a highly respected singer and recording artist in her own right, joined the cast of the musical theater play, “It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues.” Although he’d only had minimal theatrical experience to that point in the Doo Wop musical “Avenue X”, Porter eventually was cast in one of eight lead roles when the play opened in Colorado at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and followed it to Off-Broadway and then Broadway theater, where the NY Times, in its 1999 rave review, mentioned Porter among the show’s “powerhouse line up of singers.” The musical went on to earn both Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations that year.

Porter’s success on the stage with “It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues” paved the way for another theatrical outing and pairing with Eloise Laws. In his semi-autobiographical “Nat King Cole and Me,” he dramatically documented his childhood, which was marked by an absentee father and the joy and pain he heard when listening to his mother’s Nat King Cole records. This led to a rich imaginary life where the young Porter actually believed that the legendary crooner was indeed his dad, and that the love songs Cole sang were secretly being sung to him. Porter’s moving “Nat King Cole & Me” ran for two very successful months at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and traveled to Houston TX.

2011 has brought nominations from the Jazz Journalists Association for Best Male Vocalist and a German Record Critics Award. In the UK, Gregory recorded a session for Jamie Cullum’s BBC Radio 2 program and featured with Jools Holland on BBC TV’s ‘Later’. On July 4th, Gregory made his UK performance debut to a sell out crowd at The Pizza Express Jazz Club, London. Porter continues to gain the admiration of the UK and Europe’s music and national media with his distinctive style.

Gregory Porter

Gregory Porter

Gregory Porter

Gregory Porter

Gregory Porter

Yosuke Sato

Gregory Porter & Band



Liquid Spirit Be Good Water



Click Gregory Porter's images below to see him at 'Revoice' 2012,
with his own band at the PizzaExpress Jazz Club 2011,
or Jazz Voice at the Barbican 2011...

Grgory Porter @ the PizzaExpress Jazz Club 2011- 2012 (click to go to his page) Grgory Porter @ the PizzaExpress Jazz Club 2011- 2012 (click to go to his page) Grgory Porter @ Jazz Voice 2011 (click to go to this page)

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