Kurt Elling: At The Grammys, Always The Bridesmaid …

Kurt Elling is one of today’s leading jazz vocalists, and this Sunday, he’s co-hosting the Grammy Awards. Ok, it’s the Grammy Pre-Telecast Ceremony, but the event, which presents many of the awards that aren’t seen in the main ceremony, is filled with musical eminences in its own right: Elling himself is slated to perform, and artists like Mick Fleetwood, LMFAO and Colbie Caillat will introduce award winners. Video of the proceedings will also be streamed live online at the Grammy Web site.
Elling has a long history with the Grammy Awards: namely, that he keeps getting nominated, and keeps not winning. He’s got a good chance this year with Dedicated To You: Kurt Elling Sings The Music Of Coltrane And Hartman, up for the Best Jazz Vocal Album prize. But he’s also logged a lot of time at the ceremonies waiting for his number to be called, and has some good stories to share.

I shot Elling a few questions over e-mail, and he was gracious enough to respond quickly.