Song:And We Will Fly
Jazz singer Kurt Elling was headed to divinity school and a career in religion. But then he got into jazz and started singing in Chicago clubs. Now he's a popular jazz singer. He was born Nov. 2, 1967 in Chicago. His father was music director at a Lutheran church and Elling sang in the choir. He does recall seeing Tony Bennett on TV but Elling was not exposed to jazz as a child. He first listened to jazz while at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. Then he studied at the University of Chicago Divinity School with the likely goal of teaching religion. But then he started singing jazz in Chicago clubs and he left school in 1992. Elling started working with pianist Laurence Hobgood and they recorded a demo which got the attention of Bruce Lundvall and a contract with Blue Note Records. Elling and Hobgood still work together today. Elling's 1995 debut CD Close Your Eyes was nominated for a Grammy. He recorded six albums for Blue Note and then moved to Concord Jazz in 2007. Nightmoves was his first CD for Concord. Elling wrote And We Will Fly with Phil Galdston and Alan Pasqua. Galdston is a veteran songwriter who co-wrote the 1992 Vanessa Williams hit Save The Best For Last. Pianist Pasqua was a founding member of Giant. In recent years he has turned to jazz and works a lot with drummer Peter Erskine. Musicians are Laurence Hobgood on piano, Willie Jones III on drums, Christian McBride on bass, Rob Mounsey on electric piano and Guilherme Monteiro on guitar. The harmonica solo is by Gregoire Maret from Switzerland. Nightmoves is available as a budget CD. After several nominations, Elling finally won a Best Jazz Vocal Grammy for the 2009 CD Dedicated To You. His latest CD 1619 Broadway-The Brill Building Project was released last year. Kurt Elling is currently on tour. He is married with one daughter. Here is Kurt Elling performing and We Will Fly at the 2007 Montreal Jazz Festival. The harmonica solo is by Howard Levy of Bela Fleck & The Flecktones.