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My Jazzy Valentine: Grammy Award-Winner Gregory Porter Performs at the Mac Valentine's Day Weekend

Thursday, February 12, 2015 Cora

Looking for something to do day after Valentine’s Day? With or without your Valentine, treat yourself to Grammy Award-winning jazz genius, Gregory Porter, at the McAninch Arts Center, Sunday February 15th at 3 pm.

Gregory Porter Chicago will love this musical kindred spirit who effortlessly fuses jazz, soul, and gospel. He’s heralded by NPR as “the next great jazz singer.” His style is a product of his youth. The baritone grew up in Bakersfield, California, the youngest of eight children raised by a single mother who was also a storefront minister. While he experienced racism from the heavy Ku Klux Klan presence, Bakersfield was also a melting pot of gospel, blues, R&B, jazz, and soul music. On his website, he remembers singing music of a bygone era with these church members his mother associated with and it still influences his music. This is where he heard Nat King Cole for the first time.
Photo credit: Nina Simone Bentley Source: Wikipedia While Porter wanted to sing like Cole, he focused on sports early on. He was awarded a scholarship to San Diego University, but when a shoulder injury ended his career, he started performing in jazz clubs. Eventually, he met flutist Hubert Laws who used Porter on his album “Hubert Laws Remembers Nat King Cole.” Laws’ sister helped Porter get cast in the Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical “It Ain’t Nothing but the Blues.”
source: Wikipedia While music of old influences him, Porter is proud to represent something new, admitting his style may challenge purists. He enjoys seeing the myriad of fans from different ages and backgrounds come out to his shows. His goal with his music is to speak to the human heart (whether you’re a jazz fan or not). Porter will perform fan favorites and newer material at this one night only event. For tickets, visit the AttheMac.org or call (630)942-4000.

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