Kurt Elling is among the world’s foremost jazz vocalists. He has been named “Male Singer of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association on half a dozen occasions in the past ten years and “Male Jazz Vocalist of the Year” in the DownBeat Critics Poll for the past twelve years. He is also a Grammy® winner, and every record he has made has been Grammy® nominated. Elling’
Said The Washington Post, “Since the mid-1990s, no singer in jazz has been as daring, dynamic or interesting as Kurt Elling. With his soaring vocal flights, his edgy lyrics and sense of being on a musical mission, he has come to embody the creative spirit in jazz.” Elling has also been featured in profiles for CBS Sunday Morning, CNN, on Ramsey Lewis’ Legends of Jazz, and in hundreds of publications.
There’s one thing the American singer and jazz superstar Kurt Elling doesn’t doubt for a moment: that after a 30-year musical journey, Klüver’s Big Band from Denmark has played its way up through the ranks until it now stands (and swings) among the most elite of Europe’s big bands. Elling’s acknowledgment came during his most recent tour with the band, and his appreciation has been underlined by recent plans for the singer and band to make a recording together.
The orchestra has come a long way since it was formed in 1977 by a group of young musical students under the leadership of Jens Klüver. A great boost to the band’s success came 11 years later when it was declared Denmark’s first 'basic rhythmic ensemble,’ which later led to economic support from both the municipality and the national government. This secured fantastic working conditions – a very rare occurrence on the Danish rhythmical music scene – and thus the opportunity for the big band to continue growing.
Klüver’s Big Band plays many concerts each year. Some of these are elementary- and high school concerts, since one of the band’s most important objectives is to enhance the knowledge and enjoyment of jazz among young and old alike, a goal which is fully lived up to in the orchestra’s latest CD release with former Count Basie drummer Dennis Mackrel. Now the band comes to the United States for the very first time, in part, with the support of the Danish government.
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