Gregory Porter (born November 1971) is a Grammy Award-winning American jazz vocalist, songwriter, and actor. Porter won the 2014 Grammy for best jazz vocal album, Liquid Spirit.
Gregory Porter was born in Los Angeles and was raised in Bakersfield, California, where his mother was a minister. A 1989 graduate of Highland High School, he received a full-ride athletic scholarship to San Diego State University (SDSU Aztecs). A shoulder injury during his junior year of high school restricted his football career.
His debut album, Water, released in 2010 via Motéma Music, was nominated for Best Jazz Vocal album at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards. He was also a member of the original Broadway cast of It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues. His second album, Be Good, which contains many of Porter's compositions, was released on February 14, 2012, and garnered critical acclaim for both his distinctive singing and his compositions, such as "Be Good (Lion's Song), "Real Good Hands", and "On My Way To Harlem". The title track was also nominated for Best Traditional R&B Performance at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards.
Porter always wears a modified flat cap for public appearances. The reason for this is not entirely clear, but he has mentioned its role as a security blanket and refers to it as his "jazz hat." In an interview with Jazzweekley.com conducted by George W. Harris on November 3, 2012, when asked "what’s with the ubiquitous hat?" Porter replied, "I’ve had some surgery on my skin, so this has been my look for a little while and will continue to be for awhile longer. People recognize me by it now. It is what it is."
He was signed by Blue Note Records (Universal Music Group) on May 17, 2013, and his third album, Liquid Spirit, was released on September 2, 2013, in Europe and on September 17, 2013, in the US. The album is produced by Brian Bacchus. The album won the 2014 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album.
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