Kurt Elling is among the world's foremost jazz vocalists. He has been named "Male Singer of
the Year" by the Jazz Journalists Association on half a dozen occasions in the past ten years,
and during the same interval has been the perennial winner of the DownBeat Critics Poll. He
is also a Grammy winner, and every record he has made has been Grammy nominated.
Elling's rich baritone spans four octaves and features both astonishing technical mastery and
emotional depth. His command of rhythm, texture, phrasing, and dynamics is more like a
virtuoso jazz instrumentalist than a vocalist. His repertoire includes original compositions and
modern interpretations of standards, all of which are springboards for inspired improvisation,
scatting, spoken word, and poetry.s
Declared The New York Times, "Elling is the standout male vocalist of our time." Said The Washington Post, "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." He has been featured in profiles for CBS Sunday Morning, CNN, on Ramsey Lewis's Legends of Jazz, and in hundreds of publications.
Elling has recorded and/or performed with an array of artists, including Terence Blanchard, Dave Brubeck, Jon Hendricks, Charlie Hunter, Al Jarreau, Christian McBride, and Kurt Rosenwinkel. He served as the Artist-in-Residence for the Singapore Music 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."
Already 2010 has been a year of expanded creativity for Elling. He completed an extensive tour with the Monterey Jazz Festival All-Stars and staged Passion World, a commissioned event for Jazz at Lincoln Center with French accordion virtuoso Richard Galliano, singing songs of love and loss in four languages. Elling also just completed The Gate, a new studio recording for Concord Records. Produced by Don Was (The Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt), The Gate will be released in February 2011.
Due to the construction in the area, free parking is no longer available for XPN Free At Noon shows. Metered parking on 31st street is no longer available, and metered parking on Walnut Street is extremely limited.
Public transportation to XPN Free At Noon is recommended. For more information on parking in the area visit World Cafe Live. Find more information on directions and public transportation here.
When you come to XPN's Free At Noon Concerts, bring a can of food to support Philabundance, Delaware Valley's hunger relief organization. We have drop-off boxes to collect canned goods for the needy. Current priority items include: canned pasta, chili, beef stew, tuna, mac & cheese, ready to eat cereal, pork & beans/ baked beans, green beans, corn, fruit cocktail, creamy peanut butter and/ or grape jelly (plastic containers only), and boxed sugar. Thanks!
Dr. Dog, Carrie Rodriguez, Annuals, DeVotchKa, Adele, Angel Taylor, Winterpills, Sharon Little, Ollabelle, Andrew Lipke, The Low Anthem, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Sean Lennon, Chris Smith, California Guitar trio, Joan Osborne, Disco Biscuits, Damien Rice, Cold War Kids, Marc Broussard, The Slip, Arlo Guthrie, Alice Smith, The Dears, Barenaked Ladies, and more...
WXPN Free at Noon Photo Gallery at Flickr
Click to visit our gallery for photos of the Free At Noon Concerts! Previous concerts include Hall & Oates, O.A.R., Citizen Cope, Old Crow Medicine Show, Kaki King and many more!