Gretchen Parlato comes to the Oval Lawn with her sultry, intriguing voice and unique, rhythmically agile phrasing. Describing her style and versatility, The Boston Globe notes, “Her voice is a conflux where hope, sensuality and tragedy all merge…the most original jazz singer in a generation.” With her last release, The Lost and Found garnering the top spot on many of the year-end best of lists inclusive of Vocal Album of the Year from both the 2011 Jazz Critics Poll and iTunes Jazz charts, Parlato has emerged as a powerful vocalist and lyricist.
Following Parlato in this double bill is 2011 Grammy nominee and jazz vocalist, Gregory Porter. With a voice that can caress or confront, embrace or exhort, Gregory Porter exhibits such incredible degree of vocal mastery that jazz luminary Wynton Marsalis has gone on record to call him “a fantastic young singer.” His 2010 release Water reflects the seasoned talents of the giants of blues, gospel and soul that have influenced Porter throughout his career. His latest critically acclaimed release Be Good was released in February of this year.