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Kurt Elling

GRAMMY winner Kurt Elling is among the world’s foremost jazz vocalists. He won the DownBeat Critics Poll for fourteen consecutive years and was named “Male Singer of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association on eight occasions. An international jazz award winner, he has also been GRAMMY nominated a dozen times.

Elling's rich baritone spans four octaves and features both 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.

The New York Times declared, “Elling is the standout male vocalist of our time.” The Washington Post added, “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.”

Elling was the Artist-in-Residence for the Singapore 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.” Said Robert Pinsky, former Poet Laureate of the United States, “In Kurt Elling's art, the voice of jazz gives a new spiritual presence to the ancient, sweet and powerful bond between poetry and music.”

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November 02, 2018

Jazz Musician of the Day: Kurt Elling

November 02, 2017

Jazz Musician of the Day: Kurt Elling

January 25, 2017

Jazz this week: Branford Marsalis & Kurt Elling, Denise Thimes, and more

November 02, 2016

Jazz Musician of the Day: Kurt Elling

November 01, 2015

Jazz Musician of the Day: Kurt Elling

July 14, 2015

Music Education Monday: Vocal tips from Kurt Elling and Frank Sinatra,...

April 16, 2015

Jazz this week: Kurt Elling, Zappa Plays Zappa, SIUE big bands, and more

March 09, 2015

The Pittsburgh Jazz Celebration Featuring Ramsey Lewis, Kurt Elling,...

January 18, 2015

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Winter/spring 2015 jazz preview, part 5

November 02, 2014

Jazz Musician of the Day: Kurt Elling

August 28, 2014

Legendary Jazz Influencers Reign in the 2014-15 Season with Jazz at the...

June 04, 2014

Jazz This Week: Peter Brotzmann Trio, Peter Martin and Vivian Sessoms,...

February 07, 2014

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, February 7-13

November 02, 2013

Jazz Musician of the Day: Kurt Elling

February 27, 2013

Jazz This Week: Kurt Elling, Ronnie Burrage, Phil Woods, Andre Delano,...

February 24, 2013

STLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Catching up with Kurt Elling

November 02, 2012

Jazz Musician of the Day: Kurt Elling

October 25, 2012

Kurt Elling, Maria Schneider Orchestra Highlight Lawrence University...

November 17, 2011

Jazz This Week: Tony Bennett, Kurt Elling, Peter Martin and Wendell...

November 13, 2011

STLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Through the Gate with Kurt Elling

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