Jazz Singer and Chicago favorite, Kurt Elling, returns to Symphony Center with Passion World, February 14

Special Valentine’s Day Concert Also Features Special Guests Violinist Regina Carter and Clarinetist Anat Cohen


CHICAGO, IL — Kurt Elling, one of the most recognizable voices in contemporary jazz, returns to Symphony Center for an enchanting performance on Tuesday, February 14 at 8 p.m. with Passion World, a journey through love songs from around the world. This special Valentine’s Day concert also features famed jazz violinist Regina Carter and innovative clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen.

Elling, who recently received his 11th Grammy Award nomination for best jazz vocal album with his 2010 release, The Gate, has made a prolific career with touring and recording as well as collaborating with today’s best jazz artists. Carter—a 2006 MacArthur Fellow—adds her unique fusion of world music and jazz violin to this performance, coming off of hugely successful projects such as Reverse Thread. Cohen, who has recently gained momentum as a bandleader in addition to her prowess as a clarinetist and saxophonist, joins Elling and Carter for this exciting performance.

KURT ELLING is among the world’s foremost jazz vocalists. He is a Grammy winner, and all of his recordings have been nominated for a Grammy. Elling has recorded and/or performed with an array of artists, including Terence Blanchard, Dave Brubeck, Al Jarreau, Christian McBride and Kurt Rosenwinkel. He served as the Artist-in-Residence for the Singapore Music and Monterey Jazz Festivals. He has written multidisciplinary works for The Steppenwolf Theatre and the City of Chicago. In 2010, he completed an extensive tour with the Monterey Jazz Festival All-Stars and staged Passion World, a commissioned event for Jazz at Lincoln Center with French accordion virtuoso Richard Galliano. Elling recently released The Gate, a new studio recording for Concord Records—produced by Don Was (The Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt).

Regina Carter is a master of improvisational jazz violin. Though her work draws upon a wide range of musical influences—including Motown, Afro-Cuban, swing, bebop, folk and world music—she has crafted a signature voice and style. Carter’s repertoire retains a firm connection with the familiar while venturing in new, unexpected directions. Her most recent album, Reverse Thread (2010), is primarily made up of African folk songs that have been infused with Carter’s unique contemporary feel. On recordings such as Motor City Moments (2000), where she overlays swing with a soulful sound, and Freefall (2001), a collaboration with jazz legend Kenny Barron, Carter taps into a broad musical vocabulary to weave new sound tapestries. Through artistry with an instrument that has been defined predominantly by the classical tradition, Carter is pioneering new possibilities for the violin and for jazz. Her additional solo recordings include Regina Carter (1995), Something for Grace (1997), Rhythms of the Heart (1999), Paganini: After a Dream (2002), and I’ll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey (2006). Carter has performed at venues throughout the United States and Europe, including Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center and Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, Italy. She was named a MacArthur Fellow by the MacArthur Foundation in 2006.

ANAT COHEN, an established bandleader and prolific composer, has established herself as one of the primary voices of her generation on both the tenor saxophone and clarinet since arriving in New York in 1999. Cohen has performed for audiences in New York’s Village Vanguard, Jazz Standard, Iridium, The Jazz Gallery and the JVC Jazz Festival. She has also appeared at the Chicago Jazz Festival, Washington DC’s Kennedy Center, San Francisco’s Yoshi’s, Boston’s Regattabar, the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival and the Montreal Jazz Festival. Cohen’s July 2007 engagement at the Village Vanguard in New York was a historic one as she was the first female reed player and the first Israeli to headline at the club. Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, Cohen grew up with musical siblings and began clarinet studies at age 12 and played jazz on clarinet for the first time in the Jaffa Conservatory’s Dixieland band. In 1996, Cohen matriculated at Berklee College of Music in Boston. There she met faculty member Phil Wilson, who encouraged her to play clarinet, and other inspiring teachers such as Greg Hopkins, Ed Tomassi, Hal Crook, George Garzone and Bill Pierce, and an elite international peer group of students.

Complete program details follow:

Symphony Center Presents                  Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 8 p.m.

Special Concert                                    Kurt Elling Passion World

Kurt Elling, vocals

Regina Carter, violin

Anat Cohen, clarinet and saxophone

Laurence Hobgood, piano

Clark Sommers, bass

John McLean, guitar

Ulysses Owens, drums

                                                            Tickets: $20–$70

Tickets for all 2011/12 Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Center Presents, and Civic Orchestra of Chicago concerts can be purchased by calling CSO ticketing services at 312-294-3000 or 800-223-7114, online at cso.org, or by visiting the Symphony Center box office at 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604. Discounted student tickets for select concerts can be purchased, subject to availability, online in advance or at the box office on the day of the concert. For group rates, please call 312-294-3040. Artists, programs and ticket prices are subject to change.