With his effortless buttery baritone, technical virtuosity and boundless musical curiosity, Kurt Elling has stood out as one of the most critically acclaimed jazz vocalists of the past twenty years. Come hear the innovative Grammy-winning singer kick off the Rockport Jazz Festival with a concert of exquisitely arranged, boldly reinterpreted jazz and pop standards.

“The stand-out jazz male vocalist of our time”- New York Times

Having made more than a dozen recordings in his career, including a Grammy-nominated collaboration with Branford Marsalis in 2016, Kurt Elling stands as one of the most versatile and beloved jazz vocalists working today, consistently winning DownBeat male vocalist polls. No genre or composer is off limits for the style-hopping, four octave-spanning crooner -taking on jazz standards, Coltrane vocalese workouts and Brill Building pop chestnuts with equal aplomb.

Elling was born and raised in and around Chicago, where he began to perform in cafes and small clubs before his demo got the attention of critics and record lablels, including the legendary Blue Note Records. Elling’s charismatic stage personality, which often included beat poetry, improvisatory lyrics and unorthodox scat singing, helped the vocalist stand out amongst the jazz singing competition. His debut on Blue Note, Close Your Eyes, came out to great acclaim in 1995. It was the first of six lauded albums on the historic label.  Elling scored a Grammy win for Dedicated to You in 2009 (his second on the Concord label), and was nominated a few years later for his Brill Building tribute 1619 Broadway.

His most recent record, the holiday-themed The Beautiful Day came out in 2016 and was preceded earlier that year by the Grammy-nominated Brandord Marsalis collaboration Upward Spiral.

 

Thank you to our Jazz Festival Corporate Partners!