Gregory Porter

One of my fellow guests on BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live last weekend was Gregory Porter - who surely (most definitely) possess one of the finest voices in music.

Gregory's well deserved rise to stardom has been rapid and immense, with a big signing to the legendary Blue Note record label, which released the album Liquid Spirit and the UK seems to have really taken his Grammy nominated talent and vibe to heart. 

During BBC Saturday Live's May 9th broadcast, co-presenter Suzy Klein spoke about a rather familiar scene during the 'early' days of Gregory breaking the UK / European music scene. Suzy was describing his appearance at the Barbican in front of a sell out audience for the London Jazz Festival's 'Jazz Voice' performance arranged and conducted by Guy Barker. The year was 2011 and I captured his performance.

That year I met Gregory for the first time - a few days earlier in the Music Bank Studios in South London whilst conducting Jazz Voice rehearsals with Guy's orchestra (see below). Immediately (and) genuinely warm and friendly, Gregory won over everyone he met - even then, one could sense a great career developing. 

His performance at Jazz Voice did, as Suzy described, bring the house down and BAM! his was on Jools Holland within a week too - Gregory had arrived. The man even strolled into the darkened Barbican's audience during his opening number! Quality. 

As an interesting side note, 2011's Jazz Voice also featured Michelle Dockery who was already established in her acting role in Downton Abbey - but just before that series metamorphosed into a serious global phenomenon. The JV class of 2011 did good. 

If you would like to listen again to BBC Saturday Live from May 9th, click here or download the podcast here.

To view more of my work with the London Jazz Festival over the last 8 years, please go to my gallery emileholba.co.uk/london-jazz-festival and look for the '+' symbol in the top right of any frame to view large.