Signature Series Kurt Elling Meets Berklee
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Grammy Award–winning artist Kurt Elling is among the world’s foremost jazz vocalists. He won the DownBeat Critics Poll for 14 consecutive years and was named “Male Singer of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association on eight occasions in that same span. The natural heir to jazz pioneers Eddie Jefferson, King Pleasure, and Jon Hendricks, Elling is a renowned artist of vocalese—the writing and performing of words over recorded, improvised jazz solos.
Elling’s rich baritone spans four octaves and features 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.
In this exciting Signature Series concert, Elling will perform with an all-star Berklee faculty quartet (Tim Ray, John Lockwood, Yoron Israel, and Sean Jones) and collaborate with the Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra, directed by Greg Hopkins, professor of jazz composition. The program also includes a special feature with Berklee student vocalists and Peter Eldridge, the acclaimed singer, pianist, and composer who founded New York Voices, a Grammy Award–winning group.
Eldridge, a professor at the college, serves as musical director; assistant professor Cassandre McKinley is vocal coordinator; and Maureen McMullan, assistant chair of the Voice Department, produces the concert.
Elling has toured vigorously throughout his career, thrilling audiences around the globe. He has led his own ensemble and has collaborated with many of the world’s finest orchestras, including performances with the Branford Marsalis Quartet, the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, the WDR Big Band & Orchestra (Germany), the Guy Barker Big Band & BBC Concert Orchestra (England), the Metropole Orkest (Netherlands), and the Aarhus Jazz Orchestra (Denmark).