* Kurt Elling
* Purdue Convocations

March 12, 2007

Award-winning jazz vocalist Kurt Elling to come to Purdue

Kurt Elling
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Groundbreaking jazz vocalist and seven-time Grammy Award nominee Kurt Elling will take the Loeb Playhouse stage at Purdue University at 8 p.m. March 23, showcasing his baritone voice in a range of well-known jazz tunes and original compositions ranging from bassanovas to ballads.

Elling will perform as part of the Kurt Elling Quartet with longtime collaborators Laurence Hobgood on piano, Rob Amster on bass and Willie Jones III on drums. The performance is presented by Purdue Convocations as part of its Jazz Set.

Elling's repertoire ranges from his own compositions to modern interpretations of standards, both of which can be the springboard for free-form improvisation, scatting, spoken word and poetry.

One of Elling's major contributions to the genre is as a writer and performer of vocalese - the art of setting words to instrumental solos. The heir to such jazz pioneers as Eddie Jefferson, King Pleasure and Jon Hendricks, Elling is the contemporary voice of vocalese, setting the solos of Wayne Shorter, Keith Jarrett, Dexter Gordon and others to his own lyrics. Through vocalese, Elling said he hopes that audiences will fall in love with music that he adores or will rediscover some compositions they have loved and overlooked for a time.

Elling has released six albums for the Blue Note label, and each one has been nominated for a Grammy Award. For his 2003 release "Man in the Air," Elling created original lyrics for compositions by such artists as saxophonist John Coltrane, pianist Herbie Hancock and guitarist Pat Metheny.

On his latest project, "Nightmoves," which will be released April 3 by Concord Records, Elling offers his own interpretations of tunes associated with such musicians as Frank Sinatra, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Irving Berlin, Betty Carter and Duke Ellington.

Elling has been named Best Male Singer in the "Down Beat" and the "Jazz Times" critics' polls. He also has won three Jazz Journalists Awards and the Prix Billie Holiday from the Academie du Jazz in Paris.

Elling has performed with such diverse musicians as Jon Hendricks, Billy Corgan, Al Jarreau, David Amram, Buddy Guy, Charlie Hunter and Oscar Brown Jr. With his own quartet, Elling has performed on the road for more than a decade; when they are not on tour, the ensemble plays every Wednesday night at Chicago's historic Green Mill.

Tickets for the Kurt Elling Quartet performance are $28 for adults and $20 for children 18 years and younger, Purdue students and Ivy Tech Lafayette students. Tickets are available at the Elliott Hall and Stewart Center box offices at (765) 494-3933 or (800) 914-SHOW. Tickets also are available through Ticketmaster outlets.

Source: Kerry Schutt Nason, Purdue Convocations director of marketing, (765) 494-5045,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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