Elling Earns 11th Grammy Nomination

Posted on January 3rd, 2012 by

Jazz Vocalist Kurt Elling '89

Jazz Vocalist Kurt Elling '89

Gustavus Adolphus College alumnus and Grammy winner Kurt Elling ‘89 received his 11th Grammy nomination on Nov. 30 when the 54th annual Grammy nominations were announced in Los Angeles. Elling was nominated in the Best Jazz Vocal Album category for his newest album The Gate. All nine of Elling’s albums and two of his singles have now received Grammy nominations. The Grammy Awards will be announced Feb. 12, 2012 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Produced by Don Was, The Gate is a musical collection in which boundaries cease to exist. The album points Elling into a new and satisfyingly emotional direction. He has somehow found a way to make a deeply personal statement out of the music of King Crimson, Joe Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and The Beatles—in addition to providing a new and vibrant understanding of Miles Davis, Bill Evans, and Herbie Hancock.

The Gate features longtime associate Laurence Hobgood on piano, Bob Mintzer on sax, John McLean on guitar, John Patitucci on bass, percussionist Lenny Castro, and drummers Terreon Gulley and Kobie Watkins.

The Gate closes with a song that represents Elling’s continued dedication to exploring jazz’s past and blazing a trail for its future. Composed by the late Don Grolnick, “Nighttown, Lady Bright” features spoken words written by Duke Ellington and additional lyrics by Elling, who wished to close the album with a cinematic depiction of a jazz musician’s life.

Said the Washington Post, “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 the musical mission, he has come to embody the creative spirit in jazz.”

Kurt Elling's The Gate

Kurt Elling's The Gate

In addition to the recent Grammy nomination, Elling received the prestigious 2011 Edison Award for Vocal Jazz in October. Considered the Dutch Grammy, the Edison is one of the oldest music awards in the world.

Named in tribute to Thomas Alva Edison, there are three award categories including Edison Jazz/World, Edison Pop, and Edison Klassiek (Classical). Prizes are awarded to artists whose recordings over the last year are considered by a jury to be the best achievement in their genre. Elling received the award for The Gate on Nov. 16 at the Philips Concert Hall in The Netherlands.


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