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February 20, 2007

Jazz Vocalist Kurt Elling in Victoria

Written by
cindy mcleod

live jazz in Canada


Kurt Elling
Thursday, Feb. 22
Alix Goolden Performance Hall

Vocalist Kurt Elling to Appear in Victoria

In a career spanning just ten years, Chicago-based Kurt Elling has risen to international prominence as a jazz artist and singer. Each of his six albums for Blue Note records have been nominated for a GRAMMY award and he will be releasing a new Blue Note recording in February 2007. His quartet, Laurence Hobgood piano, Rob Amster bass and Willie Jones drums, has toured the world, performing to critical acclaim in Europe, Japan, Canada, Israel, Australia and the U.S, including last performing in Victoria at JazzFest International 2004. He has topped the Down Beat Critics and Jazz Times Readers’ polls every year since 2000 and he has won the Jazz Journalists’ Association award for “Best Male Vocalist” twice and earned the “Prix Billie Holiday” from the Academie du Jazz in Paris. He is currently artist in residence for the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Kurt Elling’s rich baritone voice spans four octaves and displays an astonishing technical facility and emotional depth. Elling has an awesome command of rhythm, texture, phrasing, and dynamics, often sounding more like a virtuoso jazz musician than a mere 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.

One of Kurt Elling’s major contributions is as a writer and performer of vocalese, the art of putting words to improvised solos of jazz artists. The natural heir to jazz pioneers Eddie Jefferson, King Pleasure, and Jon Hendricks, Elling is the contemporary voice in vocalese, setting the solos of Wayne Shorter, Keith Jarrett, Dexter Gordon, Pat Metheny, and others to his own deeply spiritual and compelling lyrics, an approach that reminds us of the beauty of the original music and opens us up to a fresh vision.

In conjunction with the Kurt Elling’s performance in Victoria, he will conduct a jazz vocal workshop/clinic at Alix Goolden Performance Hall (Thursday, February 22, 3 – 4:15pm) for area music students (general public is also welcome), as part of the Victoria Jazz Society’s “Student Outreach Program”. Registration for this workshop is free – please contact the Victoria Jazz Society office at 388-4423 to register. Space for this workshop is limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

for more information visit www.vicjazz.bc.ca

Thursday, Feb. 22
Kurt Elling Quartet
Kurt Elling (vocal), Laurence Hobgood (piano), Rob Amster (bass), Willie Jones (drums)
Alix Goolden Performance Hall / Victoria

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