Kurt Elling

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GRAMMY winner KURT ELLING is among the world’s foremost jazz vocalists. He won the DownBeat Critics Poll for fourteen consecutive years and was been named “Male Singer of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association eight times in that same span. Every one of Elling’s ten albums has been nominated for a GRAMMY. Elling’s rich baritone spans four octaves and features both astonishing technical mastery and emotional depth. His repertoire includes original compositions and modern interpretations of standards, all of which are springboards for inspired improvisation, scatting, spoken word and poetry.
The New York Times declared, “Elling is the standout male vocalist of our time.” The Washington Post added, “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.” Elling was the Artist-in-Residence for the Singapore and Monterey Jazz Festivals. He has also written multi-disciplinary works for The Steppenwolf Theatre and the City of Chicago. The Obama Administration’s first state dinner featured Elling in a command performance.
Elling is a renowned artist of vocalese–the writing and performing of words over recorded improvised jazz solos. The natural heir to jazz pioneers Eddie Jefferson, King Pleasure and Jon Hendricks, Elling has set his own lyrics to the improvised solos of Wayne Shorter, Keith Jarrett and Pat Metheny. He often incorporates images and references from writers such as Rilke, Rumi, Neruda and Proust into his work. The late poet and Bollingen Prize winner Robert Creeley wrote, “Kurt Elling takes us into a world of sacred particulars. His words are informed by a powerful poetic spirit.” Said Robert Pinsky, former Poet Laureate of the United States, “In Kurt Elling’s art, the voice of jazz gives a new spiritual presence to the ancient, sweet and powerful bond between poetry and music.”
Kurt Elling has toured vigorously throughout his career, thrilling audiences throughout the world. In that time he has led his own ensemble and has collaborated with many of the world’s finest orchestras.
The Questions, his new studio recording, is Kurt Elling’s musical response to this moment in history and the widespread anxiety of our times. It touches artfully on challenges – personal, political, global, spiritual, existential – and on hopes and aspirations for the future. Co-produced by NEA Jazz Master and celebrated saxophonist Branford Marsalis, The Questions unfolds into a rich and irresistible musical conversation, as Elling encourages us to join him in living with big questions and finding courage to face our fears as we seek our own answers. It opens with Elling's powerful version of Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" and gently closes with the wistful yearning of "Skylark." His vibrant and surprising choice of songs takes us on a journey through searching inquiries and thoughtful responses that challenge and inspire, touching on heartache and healing, sorrow and redemption, and the transforming power of love.




Official Website www.kurtelling.com
Label | Concord Music

Management | Rainmaker Management
Bryan Farina, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Press | Mike Wilpizeski, mike.wilpizeski[a]concordmusicgroup.com

Discography | Kurt Elling on AllMusic.com
Review: Warsaw Summer Jazz — August 2017, Jazz Journal
"There was no doubt about who the crowd had come to see when Kurt Elling and the Branford Marsalis Quartet took the stage to rapturous applause."
Concert Review: Marsalis, Elling mesh in Kutztown concert —  April 20, 2017, Reading Eagle 
"When saxophonist Branford Marsalis and vocalist Kurt Elling discovered each other, the world of jazz received an immense gift - they fit together so well musically they could be siblings."
PDX Jazz Festival Reviews: Brothers and Sisters — February 22, 2017, Oregon Arts Watch
“The Branford Marsalis Quartet and singer Kurt Elling combined in the first major concert of the 2017 Portland, Oregon PDX Jazz Festival. A packed audience in the capacious Newmark Theater heard a Thursday night performance that drew upon their recent album Upward Spiral.”
"This year's ECHO Jazz Awards ceremony, broadcast on NDR, will take place at Blohm + Voss in Hamburg on June 1, 2017."
"Yet Elling and Marsalis reached a new depth of expression in "Practical Arrangement," by Sting and Robert Mathes, the song serving as the centerpiece of both the album and the concert. Here Elling reaffirmed his considerable gifts for balladry, while Marsalis showed his ingenuity in constructing an extended solo."


Celebrate Grammys 2017 with nominees Branford Marsalis Quartet, Kurt Elling, Joshua Redman, Blind Boys of Alabama, John Beasley — December 3, 2016, Los Angeles Times


Branford Marsalis Quartet with Kurt Elling: Upward Spiral Review - master saxophonist meets great jazz vocalist – August 4, 2016, The Guardian

“Branford Marsalis has mastered most tricks of the sax-player’s trade – traditional song-playing lyricism, an advanced post-Coltrane technique (lately coupled with a classical one), and long experience of playing with singers, notably Sting in the 90s. All that colours this memorable meeting between Marsalis’ quartet and Kurt Elling, one of the best jazz vocalists on the planet.”


Jazz Singer Kurt Elling Shares What Makes a Good Song - Phoenix New Times, February 18, 2016


A conversation with Kurt Elling - Almanac News, February 23, 2016


Communicating love with a baritone voice - Mercury News, February, 2016


Spectrum reviews: Massive Attack, Kurt Elling and Elton John - The Sydney Morning Herald, February 6, 2016


La voce di Elling tra le stelle - Roma (Italian), January 3, 2016


Kurt Elling ad Umbria Jazz Winter #23 un crooner per Sinatra - Umbria Journal (Italian), December 31, 2015


Branford Marsalis Quartet + Kurt Elling – Four Big Nights - The Louisiana Weekly, December 7, 2015


Live Review: Kurt Elling at Pančevo - jazzwise magazine, November 26, 2015


Kurt Elling and Cécile McLorin Salvant dazzle at Cadogan Hall - JazzWise Magazine, November 18, 2015


Kurt Elling review – he reinvents songs with his staggering jazz chops - The Guardian, November 17, 2015


Live Review: Kurt at Nagykanizsa Jazz Festival - zaol.hu, November 8, 2015


Live Review: Kurt at Nagykanizsa Jazz Festival - jazzma.hu, November 5, 2015


Review: Passion World | Kurt Elling - The WholeNote Vol 21 No 2, September 28, 2015


SFJazz salutes 50th anniversary of Ellington's 'Sacred' concert- SFGate, September 4, 2015

Swing a Song of Sinatra at the 92Y Jazz in July Festival - Elmore Magazine, August 10, 2015

Chicago Music Legends: Kurt Elling - Newcity Music, August 7, 2015

DownBeat Review: Passion World - DownBeat, August, 2015

Kurt Elling, 'Passion World,' Concord Jazz (Review) - Classicalite, August 06, 2015

Kurt Elling: Passion World (Review) - JazzTimes, July 27, 2015

Review: Kurt Elling at Nice Jazz Festival - The Yorkshire Times, July 13, 2015

Kurt Elling: Passion World (Review) - Cabaret Scenes, July 12, 2015

Kurt Elling: Passion World (Review) - Elmore Magazine, July 10, 2015

Kurt Elling's magic carpet (Review: Malta Jazz Festival) - Times of Malta, July 05, 2015

The Jazz Singer Off Road: Kurt Elling - The Huffington Post, June 30, 2015

'Passion World' Review: Kurt Elling takes a trip around the world on his latest album - The Wall Street Journal, June 29, 2015

Vocal minority: floating on top of the band - The Financial Times, June 26, 2015

What I Love: Where Nice Evenings are Recalled by Kurt Elling - The New York Times, June 26, 2015

Expanding the Jazz Experience: An Interview with Kurt Elling - Critics at Large, June 26, 2015

Elling with Strings, Including Heart Strings - WNPR News, June 17, 2015

Concert Review: Pittsburgh Jazz Celebration showcases range of talent - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 17, 2015

There's a world of love and music- American Jewish World, June 17, 2015

Kurt Elling: Passion World (Review) - Jazz History Online, June 15, 2015

Kurt Elling: Passion World review - a stirring travelogue in song- The Guardian, June 14, 2015

Sense and Sensitivity: Kurt Elling Serves up Both on Passion World- Instrumental, June 12, 2015

Kurt Elling: Passion World | Hard not to be charmed- The Irish Times, June 12, 2015

Kurt Elling: Passion World review - plenty to smile about - The Guardian, June 11, 2015

Melbourne International Jazz Festival: Kurt Elling and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra - The Guardian, June 09, 2015

An Interview with Kurt Elling - April 21, 2015

KIOS 91.5FM:  "In a recent conversation, Jazz in the Afternoon host Chris Cooke spoke with Kurt Elling via phone. Elling spoke about his program which salutes Frank Sinatra as well as his own work as one of today's most in demand jazz vocalists..."


Review: Kurt Elling, "Elling Swings Sinatra" - February 28, 2015

Examiner.com:  "Award winning Kurt Elling, at times using Sinatra’s phrasing, and gestures, along with the charming slightly crooked smile, gave a performance that celebrated Sinatra without falling victim to imitation..."


Review: Kurt Elling channels Sinatra, with a twist - Nov 20, 2014

Lincoln Journal Star: With a bit of retro showmanship, stylish stage patter, a Sinatra tonal quality and a superb backing ensemble that combined members of his own band with local talent, singer Kurt Elling gave the Lied Center for Performing Arts the feel of an intimate Vegas lounge act for about 900 adoring...


Kurt Elling: From Bach to Blue Note - Nov 19, 2014

BBC Arts: "I think of jazz as being homage through innovation. Don't quote that as a definition, but it comes pretty close. You don't show respect to Frank Sinatra and his great example by trying to sound exactly like him. You show it by sounding exactly like you, and...


EFG London Jazz Festival opens with a wild weekend - Nov 17, 2014

JazzWise Magazine: American soprano Renée Fleming's first-ever holiday album celebrates the beloved and iconic Christmas season in New York City. From the holiday windows lining 5th Avenue to the red and green-lit spire of the Empire State Building, the essence of the city at the most wonderful time of...


Kurt Elling guest stars on Renée Fleming's "Christmas in New York" - Oct 14, 2014

American soprano Renée Fleming's first-ever holiday album celebrates the beloved and iconic Christmas season in New York City. From the holiday windows lining 5th Avenue to the red and green-lit spire of the Empire State Building, the essence of the city at the most wonderful time of...


Kurt Elling, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, & The Second City perform at Chicago's Fifth Star Awards - Sept 17, 2014

Dance Chicago and legendary improvisational comedy enterprise The Second City are among the performers at the Chicago's inaugural Fifth Star Awards on Wednesday, September 17 at 7:00 pm. Presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events...


Kurt Elling Moves Jazz History into The Future - May 29th, 2014

JazzFM: Kurt Elling Moves Jazz History into The Future By: Tanya Ivanova “I do feel like I’m trying at least to help the jazz history move into the future”, says Kurt Elling in a Jazz FM interview. The amazing vocalist is a Grammy Award winner and all his ten albums have been unprecedentedly honoured with nominations."...


Cheltenham Jazz Festival, review: Kurt Elling - May 4th, 2014

From gloucestershireecho.co.uk: Cheltenham Jazz Festival, review: Kurt Elling The organisers of Cheltenham Jazz Festival proved that they don’t lie. No, this wasn’t through some bizarre test involving electrodes and quivering needles. After they introduced American vocalist Kurt Elling as, “one of today’s greatest Jazz singers…” Elling provided the proof himself...


Classical review: Kurt Elling and the SNJO, Edinburgh - Feb 24th, 2014

From scotsman.com: Jazz singers are not in short supply these days, but genuinely great ones are always a rarity to treasure. Kurt Elling is undoubtedly in that category, and the latest phase of his ongoing collaboration with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra will live long in the memory...



The Branford Marsalis Quartet will be joined by guest-vocalist Kurt Elling in a singular collaboration of musical forces. The tight-knit working band featuring Marsalis on saxophones, Joey Calderazzo on piano, Eric Revis on bass, and Justin Faulkner on drums rarely invites other musicians into the folds of their nearly telepathically cohesive unit, and Elling’s deep jazz vocabulary, technical versatility, and outstanding intonation will enable the band to perform a variety of material in new ways.

Energized by the artistic promise of this collaboration, the band members have all contributed new tunes to perform with this special line-up and will be looking beyond the Great American Songbook. Although following the format of a standard jazz quartet with vocals, the collaboration between jazz’s most intense band and one of jazz’s foremost singer should prove to be anything but standard.


Photo Credit: Palma Kolansky 


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