Born: November, 1971 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Gregory Porter discovered the music of Nat King Cole through his mother. At the age of five he wrote a song called “Once Upon A Time, I Had A Dreamboat” and recorded it onto a tape. When his mother returned home from work and heard it, she exclaimed in amazement Boy, you sound like Nat King Cole. From that moment on, Gregory had a desire to know more about this man and his music, and spent hours playing his mother’s old Cole records on his plastic Playskool record player. Since then, Gregory's passion and commitment to expressing himself through music has remained strong, and he has developed a distinct style that ranges from jazz, funk, R&B, blues and gospel—one that is soulful while still maintaining the elegance he learned from his earlier influences.
Currently, Gregory has developed a show that is a tribute to the music and memory of Nat Cole. Through song and narration, the listener is invited into the life of Nat’s music and how it moved the life of this young boy. He is also an original cast member of the four-time Tony nominated Broadway Musical, It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues and has performed in the national tour of the Broadway musical, The Civil War.
Additionally, Gregory has performed on national television shows such as Late Night with David Letterman, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, and “The Today Show. More recently, in 2006, he performed at the Rose Hall with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.
Gregory has recorded with the world-renowned flautist Hubert Laws, collaborating on Cole's hit, Smile, on the album Hubert Laws Remembers the Unforgettable Nat King Cole. He has also worked with Hubert’s brother and sister, Ronnie and Debra Laws, on a song called Journey that receives regular airplay on jazz stations. As well as collaborating with other artists, Gregory also recorded a solo jazz and soul project, Water Under Bridges, that is well received by his audience.
In addition to frequent performances at venues in New York City, Gregory has recently toured internationally in Russia, Ukraine and South Africa, spreading his music to thousands. Keep listening for this talented young man; he has much more in store. Gregory's new CD Water will be released by Motema Music on May 11.