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Grammy nominated jazz vocalist next on CPS stage in Potsdam

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POTSDAM - For the first CPS Guest Artist Series music performance of 2014, Community Performance Series is pleased to welcome the Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Gregory Porter. The spirited performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23 in the Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music.

The expressive baritone has received numerous accolades for his work in jazz and beyond. Most recently, his 2013 album “Liquid Spirit” has earned a Grammy nomination for Best Vocal Jazz Album. The track “Hey Laura” has also been nominated for Best Traditional R&B Performance. That makes for four Grammy nods in four years for Porter.

“We encourage all to join us for this celebratory night of heartfelt storytelling by a man who does it like no other. Porter’s passionate intermingling of R&B, gospel, soul and jazz will move and exhilarate you,” said CPS Executive Director Amy Flack.

Porter had his first breakthrough with his 2010 album “Water,” and his most recent release, “Liquid Spirit,” has critics raving. The New York Times called it “soulful and assured,” and the album made many best-of lists.

“Here’s the next great male jazz singer,” said Patrick Jarenwattananon, blog editor for NPR Jazz. “’Liquid Spirit’ is great, but he’s even better live, surrounded with a long-running band that knows what he’s after and enables it splendidly.”

Prior to his recording career success, Porter spent years performing concurrently in New York City’s music theater and jazz scenes. During that time, he wrote and starred in the well-received play, “Nat King Cole and Me,” which tells the true story of Porter’s early life. In both genres he has gained a reputation for being a soulfully gifted poet and powerful live performer.

Porter will be joined by the original band members from the “Liquid Spirit” recording. The artists include pianist Chip Crawford, percussionist Emanuel Harrold, bassist Aaron James and saxophonist Yosuke Sato. The band has been together since their first jam sessions took place at Harlem’s storied St. Nick’s Pub just a few years ago.

“There’s a spirit, an energy and a soulful expression that people want, and once they hear it, they’re like... ‘Aaah,’” Porter said in an interview with DownBeat Magazine.

CPS Guest Artist Series flex subscriptions and single tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased through the CPS Box Office, now located in SUNY Potsdam’s new Performing Arts Center, or at Northern Music & Video in downtown Potsdam. Tickets can also be purchased by calling (315) 267-2277, or by visiting www.cpspotsdam.org.

To learn more about Gregory Porter, please visit www.gregoryporter.com.

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