b. Gregory Porter, 4th November 1971, Sacramento, California, U.S.A.
Gregory Porter was born in Sacramento, California in 1971.
He spent his adolescence in Bakersfield, California, where his mother, Ruth Thompson, was a minister.
Gregory’s parents were fans of Nat King Cole, and a young Gregory imitated the singer.
He also excelled at sports, being awarded a football scholarship to attend San Diego’s State University.
Gregory injured his shoulder, curtailing his sporting aspirations.
He returned to his musical aspirations, performing in local jazz clubs.
it was here where he met the musician Kamau Kenyatta.
Kamau took Gregory under his wing, introducing him to the flautist Hubert Laws.
Hubert employed Gregory on a track on his 1998 album ‘Hubert Laws' Remembers the Unforgettable Nat King Cole’.
Hubert’s sister, Eloise, overheard Gregory during the album studio sessions and enabled Gregory to be cast in one of the leads in a new musical, ‘It Ain't Nothing But the Blues’.
water - 2010 / be good - 2011 / the work song ep - 2012 / liquid spirit - 1013
Gregory’s debut album, ‘Water’, saw the light of day in 2010 via Motéma Music, and featured the song ’1960 What?’, which was later released as a single, in several formats and mixes.
A second album entitled, ‘Be Good’, was released two years later in 2012, and featured the songs ‘Be Good (Lion's Song), ‘Real Good Hands’, and the excellent ‘On My Way To Harlem’.
He was signed by Blue Note Records in 2013, and an album, ‘Liquid Spirit’ followed in 2013.
Gregory appeared at the Jazz FM Love Supreme festival in Glynde in the U.K., during July 2013.
take me to the alley - 2016 / all rise - 2020
In 2016, Gregory released the album 'Take Me To The Alley' for the Decca Records imprint.
In 2020, Gregory released the album ''All Rise' for the Blue Note Records imprint.
Often asked about his unusual headgear, Gregory recently stated:
'It’s my jazz hat (laughs). It’s been my thing, it’s been how I’ve been pictured, and how I’ve been out in public for some time now, so this is me. In the tradition of the music, there have been some great hats, and I’m throwing my hat in the ring, no pun intended.'
Water (Motema Records 2010)
Be Good (Motema Records 2012)
Liquid Spirit (Blue Note Records 2013)
Take Me To The Alley (Decca Records 2016)
Live In Berlin (Universal Music Group Records 2016)
Nat King Cole & Me (Blue Note Records 2017)
One Night Only: Live At The Albert Hall (Blue Note Records 2018)
All Rise (Blue Note Records 2025)