Music & Events

Kurt Elling – Singer of the Year!
Mercyhurst University Performing Arts Center

Friday, May 11    8:00 p.m.

Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center, Mercyhurst University

501 East 38th Street

   General Admission $20
   Seniors/Students $15
   Youth/ Mercyhurst University Students $ 5



Kurt EllingKurt Elling is on a roll!

You can find him everywhere:

  • DownBeat’s Male Vocalist of the Year for 2011, Readers’ Poll  – he’s a six-time winner of this award.
  • Grammy Nominated for his latest recording: “The Gate” (Concord Records, 2011) – all of the nine CD’s he has released have been nominated for Grammys.
  • Winner of 2011 Edison Jazz/World Award for Vocal Jazz – a prestigious international award.
  • 2011 Male Vocalist of the Year, Jazz Times Readers’ Poll – his, seventh win.
  • 2011 Male Singer of the Year, Jazz Journalists’ Association – also for the seventh time.
  • And more…

On the move

Elling keeps an active touring schedule: 138 concerts in 24 countries in 2011.  During the month before appearing in Erie, he will appear in Rotterdam, returning to the U.S. for a few concerts in the Midwest, then to New Zealand, then back again for a series of concerts in New York and neighboring Mid-Atlantic states.  Then Erie, then on to the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in Pittsburgh, then to France for a concert with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra.  


Current projects include

  • A series of multi-disciplinary live events at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago (Elling’s current home), incorporating music, poetry, dance and visual projections.
  • Lectures and publications, including a book, “Lyrics,” a recent touring journal for JazzIs magazine, an essay “New Visions for New Times.”
  • Appearances with “The Four Brothers,” legendary fellow singers Jon Hendricks, Mark Murphy and, when his schedule permits, Kevin Mahogany.
  • The Band

As a perk for being famous and highly regarded among musicians, Elling has the luxury of touring with his own hand-picked quintet.  Most have worked with him now for a number of years:

Lawrence HobgoodLawrence Hobgood

In addition to a 2010 Grammy and multiple Grammy nominations with the Elling group, Chicago pianist and Elling’s Music Director Lawrence Hobgood has , in his own right, earned the Deems Taylor Award, the Chicago Tribune Chicagoan of the Year in Arts award (1995), three Aspen Music Festival Fellowships, and the critical acclaim of his peers.

Hobgood has performed worldwide and has recorded with his own trio, and with Larry Coryell, Lee Konitz, John Patitucci, Stefon Harris, Terence Blanchard, Joe Lovano, Benny Maupin, Clark Terry, Kurt Rosenwinkel, etc., etc.  He has issued a solo CD with bassist Charlie Haden, “When the Heart Dances” (Naim Label, 2009), has co-produced Elling’s nine Grammy-nominated CD’s (three for Concord, six for Blue Note).

Clark SummersClark Summers

Bassist Clark Summers has been featured on over 40 albums, including those with Elling and others with Cedar Walton, Ernie Watts, Marilyn McCoo, Kevin Mahogany, Frank Wess, Charles McPherson, and many others.

Sommers studied with James Cammack, long-time bassist with Ahmad Jamal, attended DePaul University and the California Institute of the Arts, all the while playing with local groups.  He returned to Chicago, playing regularly with Von Freeman, the Chicago Jazz Orchestra and others before joining Elling.

Ulysses Owens, Jr.Ulysses Owens, Jr.

Owens comes with an enthusiastic endorsement by bassist Christian McBride, with whom he tours: “I’m so in love with this cat…(he’s) well-spoken, well-studied…soulful.  He lets the music come to him, an extreme rarity for drummers of ANY age.”  

Owens graduated in 2006 from Julliard, where he earned a BA in Jazz Studies, studying drums and composition.  In his young career, he has played with Wynton Marsalis, Benny Golson, the Count Basie Orchestra, Mulgrew Miller, Vanessa Rubin, Russell Malone and others and has toured worldwide.

Owens is also establishing a career an educator, with ”Don’t Miss A Beat,” a family-operated annual Summer Workshop in Jacksonville, FL.  He also leads clinics and workshops.

John McLeanJohn McLean

During his 25 year career, guitarist John McLean has played and recorded with Dave Douglas, Randy Brecker, Mose Allison, Patricia Barber, Arthur Blythe, and many others – and, of course, Elling.  A graduate of Berklee and the University of Miami jazz programs, he has recorded with his own septet, “Better Angels” (Origin Records, 2007), has toured worldwide with Elling and others.  He is based in Chicago, and is on the music faculties of Roosevelt University and North Central College.

Great music

So – great musicians, a great singer (arguably the best around), an unbeatable price!  See you there!





Enjoy A Preview

Here is Kurt Elling playing Joe Jackson's "Steppin' Out" at the New Morning in Paris on May 26, 2011.



And here is My Foolish Heart by Kurt Elling at the Montreal Jazz Festival, Montreal, Canada, July 4, 2007.



September 3, 2013