Jazz-Soul Fusion Singer Gregory Porter Unites Old & New Sounds

Grammy Award-winning singer Gregory Porter

Grammy Award-winning singer Gregory Porter

Grammy Award-winning singer Gregory Porter will delight audiences with his special blend of jazz, ’70s soul and modern sounds at Montgomery County Community College on Sunday, Feb. 8, at 4 p.m. in the Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. Tickets cost $30. Visit mc3.edu/livelyarts or call 215-641-6518 for more information and tickets.

Porter exploded onto the international music scene in 2010 with his first album, Water, which garnered chart-topping attention, slots on an international array of year-end “Best Of” lists in several genres, and a Grammy nomination―a rare feat for a debut recording. His sophomore release, Be Good, increased the accolades and was followed by Liquid Spirit, which earned him a Grammy Award.

Channeling the “soulful spirit of the ’70s,” he has been heralded by NPR Music as “the next great male jazz singer” and nominated for “International Artist of the Year” at the inaugural BBC Music Awards. He has performed internationally, including at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival with the legendary Stevie Wonder.

His upcoming performance, which is made possible by a grant from the William Penn Foundation, will showcase the myriad of musical influences―jazz, blues, gospel and soul―that inspired him as one of eight children growing up in Bakersfield, Calif.

“I laugh at the mix of people who show up at [my] shows,” says Porter. “I have to give them all something―and something for all of them exists in me. There are songs that a 68-year-old grandma likes, and there are hard-hitting, more bass- and funk-infused things. That’s part of my vocabulary…they co-mingle and co-exist.”

This performance is just one of many in the College’s 2014-15 Lively Arts season, “Old School, New School.” Upcoming performances include Thelonious Monk Competition winner Cécile McLorin Salvant on February 21; Latin American folkloric and jazz musician Miguel Zenón on March 21; and legendary harmonica player Grégoire Maret on April 18.

The Lively Arts programs have connected the community for more than a quarter century. In addition to performances from internationally acclaimed artists, each season features a Young Arts Explorers series; student choral, jazz ensemble, guitar, dance and theater performances; the Presidential Symposium and Richard K. Bennett Distinguished Lectureship for Peace and Social Justice; and the Betzwood Film Festival.

For more information, visit mc3.edu/livelyarts, email livelyarts@mc3.edu or call the Box Office at 215-641-6518. Follow the College’s “Destination Arts” page on Facebook at facebook.com/DestinationArts.

~ by Lauren Somers

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