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Local jazz vocalist to appear at International Jazz Day performance in Japan

Bakersfield's Gregory Porter will be performing at the International Jazz Day concert in Osaka, Japan this week.
Bakersfield's Gregory Porter will be performing at the International Jazz Day concert in Osaka, Japan this week.Photo by Frazer Harrison

Bakersfield's Grammy winning jazz vocalist Gregory Porter will be taking part in the International Jazz Day concert from Osaka, Japan this Wednesday. Porter will be sharing the stage with such jazz heavyweights as Esperanza Spaulding, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Earl Klugh, Pete Escovedo, John Scofield, Marcus Miller, and Lew Tabackin, among others.

Porter won the 2014 Grammy for best jazz vocal album, "Liquid Spirit." The R&B and jazz vocalist was also nominated for best Traditional R&B Performance for the song “Hey Laura.” He has also been nominated twice before. His debut album from 2010, Water, was nominated for Best Jazz Vocal album at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards. His next album, Be Good, released in 2012, had its title track nominated for Best Traditional R&B Performance at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards.

April 30 was officially designated as International Jazz Day by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 2011. The designation was made to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people worldwide. The annual event will be broadcast live on the internet and available on demand within 4 hours after it starts.

UNESCO's Director General, Irina Bokova, is the co-chair of International Jazz Day. She shares those duties with Hancock, who is a UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue and Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, which is the lead nonprofit organization charged with planning, promoting, and producing this annual celebration.

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Bakersfield's 2014 Grammy connection - vocalist Gregory Porter