Gregory Porter, whose 2010 Motema Music debut, Water, was nominated in the 2011 54th Annual Grammy Awards as Best Jazz Vocal Album, will release a powerful cinematic treatment of one of the CD's most powerful and popular tracks, 1960 What?." The video, which previewed on Porter's website and on YouTube in September, was serviced to media outlets nationwide the week of October 10. The first video from Water, Illusion," aired on broadcast outlets throughout the country and in Europe, notably racking up considerable air time on VH-1 Soul .
Porter's star is well on the rise in the United States and in the UK (where he hit #1 on both the iTunes and Amazon charts immediately following his appearance on the popular show Later With Jools Holland), and in Belgium, France and Germany, where he continues to gain ground as a touring artist. Additional evidence that his popularity extends well beyond the borders of the US is evidenced by the international array of producers who have contributed to three re-mixes of 1960 What?" that are now being released digitally in the US & Europe. Swedish production wizard Opolopo's soulful House remix, a kick and bass rerub," is already burning up dance floors from Chicago to the UK, where it's currently getting airplay on Jazz FM. Peter McEvilley, the LA-based producer and electronic music artist who works as Peas, has contributed a House mix, and the founder of Amsterdam's Wicked Jazz Sounds music collective, Phil Horneman, has contributed a Wicked Jazz Sounds radio edit which clocks in at about half as long as the anthemic twelve-and-a-half minute long original version.
The video for 1960 What?," produced by Lloyd Porter and directed by Shawn Petersthe same team that created the video for Illusion" was shot amid the decay and glory of Detroit. The video captures the gritty environs of the present day Motor City, a city that was burnin," as Porter sings, during the 1967 riots. A powerful anthem of turbulent times, 1960 What?" is poetic in nature, referencing the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King as well as the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in southern California while simultaneously connecting the repercussions of those times on our current experience and consciousness . The five minute long short music video format is the 'video edit' of a 20 minute short film by the directors which features interviews with many high profile Detroit personalities who comment on their experiences in the '60s and beyond, including the very Reverend Sharon MacVean- Brown, the first woman rector of Detroit's St. Matthew's & St. Joseph's Episcopal Church, who also appears in the music video.
As activity continues to build around Porter's career, the Grammy-nominated Water and this new 1960 What" video, film and remixes, Porter has just completed tracks for his next release,'Be Good, which is slated for release on February 2012. Produced by Porter with Kamau Kenyatta (who also co-produced Water) and Brian Bacchus, whose credits in A&R and production have included work with such artists as Norah Jones, Lizz Wright, Randy Weston, Richie Havens, Steve Turre and Ronny Jordan, Be Good promises to be an exceptionally powerful sophomore release.
Gregory's meteoric rise in the UK will certainly be boosted by the release of Be Good, with BBC Radio's exclusive first broadcast of his upcoming CD in association with the London Jazz Festival in November.
Porter, who was relatively unknown before the release of Water, is now maintaining a busy international touring schedule racking up impressive dates at clubs across the US and at the Cape May; West Oak (PA); and Pittsburgh Jazz Festivals as well as the the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta and Jazz in The Pines in Idylwild (CA). Key European dates have included the ELB Festival in Germany; the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland; the Berlin Jazz Festival, and France's Clermont-Ferrand Jazz Festival.
ABOUT GREGORY PORTER
Born in Los Angeles, raised in Bakersfield, and now living in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, Gregory Porter has made the world his musical home. His 2010 Motéma Music debut, Water, has earned him accolades from music critics as well as from his musical peers, in the US and abroad.
AllMusic.com called Gregory an absolute showstopper of personalized soul" and Straight No Chaser declared, Simply put, Gregory Porter may be our next great jazz singer." Porter continues to gain consistent praise as one of the best male vocalists on the scene today, with comparisons to Joe Williams, Nat King Cole and Donny Hathaway. Water was also singled out on several Best Of 2010" year-end lists, including the Village Voice's Jazz Critics' Poll, in which he tied for the #1 Best Debut slot. At the end of 2010, Porter was among the few jazz artists to receive a Grammy nomination for a debut release.
His vocal prowess, whIch has earned him international recognition, prompted Wynton Marsalis, who tapped Porter several times to perform as a guest vocalist with his Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, to go on record citing him as a fantastic young singer." Germany's Jazz Thing magazine lauds Porter's deep blues-rooted voice, branching out in soul spheres." While the UK's JAZZWISE comments In a year marked by the debut releases of some fine new jazz singers... Gregory Porter's superlative Water clearly lead[s] the pack." 2011 has brought Gregory nominations from the Jazz Journalists Association for Best Male Vocalist and a German Record Critics Award, In the UK, Gregory recorded a session for Jamie Cullum's BBC Radio 2 program and was featured with Jools Holland on BBC TV's 'Later' after which Water shot to #1 on both the UK ITunes and Amazon charts.