Kurt's Recent Press
To one extent or another, jazz has always maintained a discriminatory dividing line between vocalists and instrumentalists. Instead of being viewed as equals — artists on par with all the rest, possessing the same good sense, skill, and stake in an artistic outcome — vocalists have often been unfairly stigmatized  ...read more…
Though Kurt Elling is one of the most well-loved and highly praised jazz singers of our time, he first developed his chops singing Bach motets. As Elling returned to his native Chicago for performances at City Winery, he spoke about how classical music has influenced him throughout his life. Though  ...read more…
Before we get to the message, let us praise the logistics management. What poor, sleep-deprived soul was tasked with editing down Friday evening's White House jazz concert, hosted by the Obamas, which stretched toward two and a half resourcefully efficient hours, into the single hour that aired on network  ...read more…
"There is something fearless and true about jazz," President Barack Obama said in his opening remarks Friday (April 29) at the White House concert celebrating the fifth annual International Jazz Day — and despite the fact that the show was being recorded for broadcast on national television (it aired the following  ...read more…
JK: One of the standout things to me is that you have a wonderful breadth of projects. You are about to release a recording with Branford Marsalis, you are doing a concert with Lang Lang, you write for Steppenwolf Theatre. What inspires you and what path leads you to these  ...read more…
A few songs into the fifth International Jazz Day All-Star Global Concert, on the south lawn of the White House on Friday night, a pointedly multicultural coalition took the stage. Chucho Valdés on piano and Paquito D'Rivera on clarinet formed an eminent Cuban contingent. India had an  ...read more…
Grammy-award-winning saxophone legend Branford Marsalis has always been about inclusion, opening those doors to everybody — not just the physics- and harmonics-minded jazz brainiacs out there unduly focused on chops and technical precision. After meeting another Grammy-award-winning artist, jazz singer Kurt Elling, at a Thelonious Monk Institute competition two years  ...read more…