Kurt Elling

~ Person


Kurt Elling (born November 2, 1967) is an American jazz vocalist, composer, lyricist and vocalese performer. Born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in Rockford, Elling first became interested in music through his father, who was Kapellmeister at a Lutheran church. Growing up, Elling sang in choirs and played various musical instruments, but was not exposed to jazz until he attended Gustavus Adolphus College. Elling enrolled in graduate school at the University of Chicago Divinity School, but left school one credit short of a master's degree to pursue a career as a jazz vocalist.

Elling began to perform around Chicago, scat singing and improvising his own lyrics. He recorded a demo in the early 1990s and was signed by Blue Note Records, releasing a total of six albums with the label. He has been nominated for ten Grammy Awards, winning Best Vocal Jazz Album for Dedicated to You (2009) on the Concord Jazz label. Elling often leads the Down Beat critics poll, and he was awarded the Prix Billie Holiday from the Académie du Jazz. Since 1995, Elling has collaborated with pianist, composer, and arranger Laurence Hobgood, leading a quartet that regularly tours the world.

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Year Title RatingReleases
1995 Close Your Eyes 1
1997 The Messenger 1
1998 This Time It's Love 1
2001 Flirting With Twilight 1
2003 Man in the Air 1
2007 Nightmoves 2
2009 Dedicated to You 1
2011 The Gate 1
2012 1619 Broadway: Brill Building Project 2
2015 Passion World 2

Album + Live

Year Title RatingReleases
2000 Live in Chicago 1


Year Title RatingReleases
2015 Who Is It (Carry My Joy on the Left, Carry My Pain on the Right) 1

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