Part Sinatra, part Mark Murphy, part Jack Keruoac, Elling weaves a spell with his resonant baritone voice, four-octave range and suave delivery, whether he’s playing the sensual crooner, scatting firebrand or beatnik jivester. As London’s The Guardian wrote: “When it comes to expressiveness, technique and sheer beauty of voice, I can think of no male singer alive to equal Kurt Elling. As they used to say of Sinatra, he could sing the Manhattan phone book and have the audience on the edge of their seats. An Elling song can be a meditation, a demand, a lament, an expression of wonder, but never naive and rarely simple.”
When & Where
It’s a Breeze & Hawk Haven Vineyard Stage in Cape May Convention Hall, Saturday, November 10 at 9:00 PM
Hailed by the New York Times as “the standout male vocalist of our times,” Grammy-winning jazz singer Kurt Elling has an uncanny sense of commitment and authenticity in delivering passionate interpretations of material ranging from John Coltrane to U2, Cole Porter to King Crimson, Irving Berlin to the Beatles, Hoagy Carmichael to Rodgers & Hart, Sam Cooke to Duke Ellington. A brilliant vocalist, composer, lyricist and vocalese performer, Elling represents the créme de la créme of jazz singing today.
Born in Chicago on November 2, 1967, Elling sang in the church choir and played various musical instruments while growing up, but he was not exposed to jazz until he attended Gustavus Adolphus College. He began to perform around Chicago, scat singing and improvising his own lyrics on familiar tunes, a la vocalese pioneer and towering influence, Jon Hendricks. After landing a weekly residency at the Green Mill Jazz Club, Elling began establishing a local rep as a Mark Murphey-esque hipster who flowed organically from beat poetry to ballads to swingers in the course of his compelling sets. In 1995, Elling was signed to Blue Note Records and earned a Grammy nomination for his debut that year, Close Your Eyes. He followed with five albums for the label, including 2000’s Live in Chicago featuring saxophonist Von Freeman, and 2003’s Man In The Air, which featured vibraphonist Stefon Harris. Elling later signed with the Concord Jazz label, debuting with 2007’s ambitious Nightmoves, which included Walt Whitman’s poem, “The Sleepers,” set to music by Fred Hersch. His follow-up on Concord, 2009’s Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman (2009), won a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Elling jumped to the OKeh label with 2016’s Upward Spiral, his collaboration with saxophonist Branford Marsalis. His latest for the label is The Questions, which has him interpreting Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” Paul Simon’s “American Story,” Jaco Pastorius’ “Three Views Of A Secret” (with lyrics inspired by a Rumi poem, “A Secret in Three Views”), Peter Gabriel’s “Washing Of The Water” and the Hoagy Carmichael-Johnny Mercer classic, “Skylark.”
Cape May Convention Hall Hawk Haven / It's A Breeze Stage November 10th at 9:00 PM