Touted U.S. jazz vocalist to perform Saturday night

Polk County Itemizer-Observer
April 2, 2014


MONMOUTH — Grammy award-winning vocalist Kurt Elling brings his jazz sounds to Rice Auditorium on the Western Oregon University campus for a concert Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

His performance is part of the 2013-14 WOU Smith Fine Arts Series.

Elling is among the world’s foremost jazz vocalists, notes Concord Music Group. He has won every DownBeat Critics Poll for the last 14 years and has been named “Male Singer of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association eight times in that same span.

Every one of Elling’s 10 albums have been nominated for a Grammy, and the Illinois-native won the Best Jazz Vocal Album award in 2009 for “Dedicated to You.”

Elling’s rich baritone spans four octaves and features both astonishing technical mastery and emotional depth. His repertoire includes original compositions and modern interpretations of standards, all of which are springboards for inspired improvisation, scatting, spoken word and poetry.

The New York Times declared, “Elling is the standout male vocalist of our time.” The Washington Post added, “Since the mid-1990s, no singer in jazz has been as daring, dynamic, or interesting as Kurt Elling. With his soaring vocal flights, his edgy lyrics and sense of being on a musical mission, he has come to embody the creative spirit in jazz.”

Elling, who is touring in support of his most recent release, “1619 Broadway — The Brill Building Project,” will be joined on stage by the American Metropole Orchestra.

Tickets for Saturday’s concert are still available.

If You Go …

What: Kurt Elling with the American Metropole Orchestra, part of the 2013-14 Western Oregon University Smith Fine Arts Series.

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Rice Auditorium, Western Oregon University, 345 N. Monmouth Ave., Mon-mouth.

Admission: General, $25 in advance, $28 at the door; students, $11; free rush tickets for WOU students one hour before the event.

For more information: 503-838-8333;;

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