Jazz vocalist Kurt Elling cut his teeth in the clubs of Chicago, but his love of music began in infancy and was fostered by a childhood singing in choirs.

“Since the mid-1990s, no singer in jazz has been as daring, dynamic or interesting as Kurt Elling,” a 2009 review in the Washington Post reads. “The onetime theology student from Chicago has found a fresh musical territory by channelling, in equal parts, Frank Sinatra, bebop hipster Mark Murphy and an all-night poetry slam.”

But it was at his father’s feet that the future Grammy-award winning musician would first encounter music. “My father was a church musician,” Elling tells Limelight. “That meant that I had immediate exposure – or maybe in utero exposure – to Bach and to Brahms and to the great Lutheran hymns. I don’t even remember a time not singing. He led the choirs as well so I would sit with the different members and try to reiterate their parts. I remember we would do several of the Bach motets regularly, or every other year, with the seasons and I would sing soprano for quite a long time and then alto and then tenor and I couldn’t wait to...

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