Gregory Porter is a Grammy award-winning Jazz artist, who has sold over 700,000 albums worldwide. He has achieved international acclaim from critics and his contemporaries. Porter has pushed traditional Jazz parameters to open himself up to diverse and new audiences, through effortless performances with artists like electronic music duo, Disclosure, soul singer, Laura Mvula, and music legend Stevie Wonder.
Porter’s story began in Bakersfield, California, where his Minster mother Ruth raised him along with his seven siblings. Ruth was a huge influence on the man and musician he was to become. Porter actually started out as a promising American football player in the 90s, receiving an athletic scholarship to San Diego State University. However, a shoulder injury put an end to his football career. In a moment when Porter was lost and thought he would give up music and follow another career path, it was his mother words, ‘don’t forget your music’, that brought him back to his music.
Porter started singing in small jazz clubs in San Diego, where he met saxophonist, composer, and pianist Kamau Kenyatta, who mentored and gave him focus. In the late 90s, Porter enjoyed critical success on Broadway as one of the leads in It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues, singing alongside singer Eloise Laws. In 2004, Porter moved to Brooklyn, New York with his brother Lloyd. He worked as a chef at Lloyd’s restaurant Bread-Stuy, where he also performed.
Porter also sang at other neighbourhood venues including Harlem club, St. Nick’s Pub, where he took a weekly residency. During this time Porter met the musicians who would go on to become his touring band.
Porter spent the next few years honing his craft and style. In 2010, Porter started working with RedFire Music and Heather Taylor, which kick-started his move into international stardom. In 2012, filming began on
Gregory Porter: Don’t Forget Your Music, chronicling the story of Porter’s musical journey to date. The film opens in the UK during Spring 2016.
- 2010 Water is released
- 2010 Porter works with RedFire Music in the UK
- 2012 Be Good is released
- 2013 Porter signs with Blue Note Records
(Universal Music Group)
- 2013 Liquid Spirit is released, reaching the top 10 on the UK album charts
- 2014 Porter releases ‘The ‘In’ Crowd’ as a single
- 2014 Liquid Spirit wins the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album
- 2015 Porter performs at the VE Day 70: A Party to Remember concert in London
- 2016 Gregory Porter: Don’t Forget Your Music documentary is screened