Chicago native Kurt Elling is the most accomplished male jazz singer extent. In a career spanning just ten years, thirty-eight year old Elling has risen to international prominence as a jazz artist and singer. Each of his six albums for Blue Note records was nominated for a Grammy award. His quartet has toured the world, performing to critical acclaim in Europe, Asia, Canada, Israel, and Australia and at clubs and jazz festivals across the US, including the Hollywood Jazz Festival twice. He has topped the DownBeat and JazzTimes Readers and Critics polls every year since 2000 and won the Jazz Journalists Association award three times for best male vocalist.
Kurt Elling's rich baritone voice spans four octaves and he displays both astonishing technical facility and emotional depth. Elling has an awesome command of rhythm, texture, phrasing, and dynamics, often sounding more like a virtuoso jazz instrumentalist than a singer. His repertoire ranges from his own compositions to modern interpretations of standards, both of which can be the springboard for free form improvisation, scatting, spoken word, poetry, and rants. As composer and lyricist, Elling has written scores of his own compositions and set lyrics to the songs and improvised solos of many jazz masters.
On his latest CD, Nightmoves, his first on Concord Records, Kurt’s longtime pianist-arranger, Laurence Hobgood, remains at the helm of the trio featuring bassist Rob Amster and drummer Willie Jones, III, with a few special guests including Bob Mintzer. Elling lyrically caresses and melodically illuminates Michael Franks' title track, jazz diva Betty Carter's angular "Tight," and the rarely-performed Duke Ellington number "I Like the Sunrise." The CD displays Elling’s unique eclecticism.