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Friday, April 11, 2025 7:30 PM // Michigan Theater

Kurt Elling Celebrates Weather Report
featuring Peter Erskine

Performance
Photo by Cory Dewald
 

The New York Times has rightly called Kurt Elling “the standout male jazz vocalist of our time.”

Known for his singular combination of robust swing and poetic insight, the two-time Grammy winner brings his one-of-a-kind brand of contemporary lyricism and vocal ingenuity to vocal jazz. His voice is instantly recognizable, embracing listeners with his warm, rich baritone and navigating the full span of his four-octave range as a virtuoso improviser and compelling storyteller. This celebration of Weather Report, one of jazz’s great supergroups, which was active in the 1970s and early 80s, will reimagine the fusion band’s iconic songs in addition to new arrangements inspired by their constellation of musicians. The program will include “A Remark You Made,” “Three Views of a Secret,” and “Continuum,” among other influential compositions from the Weather Report sphere. This concert celebration features Grammy Award-winning drummer and Weather Report alumnus Peter Erskine in his UMS debut.

Meet the Artist

Kurt Elling
Kurt Elling
Peter Erskine
Peter Erskine
drums
Joey Calderazzo
Joey Calderazzo
piano
Mike Moreno
Mike Moreno
guitars
Essiet Okon Essiet
Essiet Okon Essiet
bass

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Order 2024/25 Season Tickets

Kurt Elling Celebrates Weather Report
featuring Peter Erskine

Michigan Theater
Season Ticket packages now available
Individual event tickets on sale Aug 1

CHOOSE A PERFORMANCE:

Order 2024/25 Season Tickets Or call the ticket office at 734-764-2538

* Student, Senior and Group Discounts may be available

Friday, April 11, 2025 7:30 PM
Michigan Theater

Kurt Elling Celebrates Weather Report
featuring Peter Erskine

Performance
Order 2024/25 Season Tickets
Season Ticket packages now available
Individual event tickets on sale Aug 1

The New York Times has rightly called Kurt Elling “the standout male jazz vocalist of our time.”

Known for his singular combination of robust swing and poetic insight, the two-time Grammy winner brings his one-of-a-kind brand of contemporary lyricism and vocal ingenuity to vocal jazz. His voice is instantly recognizable, embracing listeners with his warm, rich baritone and navigating the full span of his four-octave range as a virtuoso improviser and compelling storyteller. This celebration of Weather Report, one of jazz’s great supergroups, which was active in the 1970s and early 80s, will reimagine the fusion band’s iconic songs in addition to new arrangements inspired by their constellation of musicians. The program will include “A Remark You Made,” “Three Views of a Secret,” and “Continuum,” among other influential compositions from the Weather Report sphere. This concert celebration features Grammy Award-winning drummer and Weather Report alumnus Peter Erskine in his UMS debut.

Meet the Artist

Kurt Elling
Kurt Elling
Peter Erskine
Peter Erskine
drums
Joey Calderazzo
Joey Calderazzo
piano
Mike Moreno
Mike Moreno
guitars
Essiet Okon Essiet
Essiet Okon Essiet
bass

Thank You to Our Sponsors

SUPPORTING SPONSOR

  • Tim and Robin Damschroder

Buy Tickets

Kurt Elling Celebrates Weather Report
featuring Peter Erskine

Michigan Theater
Season Ticket packages now available
Individual event tickets on sale Aug 1

CHOOSE A PERFORMANCE:

Order 2024/25 Season Tickets

Or call the ticket office at 734-764-2538

* Student, Senior and Group Discounts may be available

Kurt Elling
Kurt Elling

Renowned for his singular combination of robust swing and poetic insight, two-time GRAMMY winner Kurt Elling has secured his place among the world’s foremost jazz vocalists. The New York Times proclaimed Elling, “the standout male vocalist of our time”. Over a twenty-five year career of touring and recording, Elling has won three Prix du Jazz Vocal (France), two German Echo Awards, two Dutch Edison Awards, and has been nominated for a GRAMMY award sixteen times. He has had a 14-year run atop the DownBeat Critics and Readers polls, and has won twelve Jazz Journalists Awards for “Male Vocalist of the Year”.

Kurt Elling’s voice is instantly recognizable, embracing listeners with his warm, rich baritone and navigating the full span of his four-octave range as a virtuoso improvisor and a compelling storyteller. The Guardian (UK) has named Kurt Elling, “a kind of Sinatra with superpowers,” and, “one of jazz’s all-time great vocalists.”

Elling has recorded and toured with Branford Marsalis, Danilo Perez, Stefon Harris, Fred Hersch, James Morrison, and Charlie Hunter. He has performed extensively with larger ensembles like The Clayton/Hamilton Orchestra, The National Youth Orchestra (led by Sean Jones), The Bob Mintzer Big Band, The BBC Concert Symphony (led by Guy Barker) The Metropole Orchestra (Holland), The Irish Radio and Television Orchestra (led by Brian Byrne), The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, and The WDR Orchestra and Big Band (Germany).

Learn more at kurtelling.com

Peter Erskine
Peter Erskine
drums

Peter Erskine has played drums since the age of 4 and is known for his versatility and love of working in different musical contexts. He appears on 700 albums and film scores, has won 2 Grammy Awards and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Berklee School of Music. Fifty albums have been released under his own name or as co-leader. He has played with the Stan Kenton and Maynard Ferguson big bands, Weather Report, Steps Ahead, Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, Diana Krall, Kenny Wheeler, Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Brecker Brothers, The Yellowjackets, Pat Metheny & Gary Burton, John Scofield, et al, and has appeared as a soloist with the Beethoven Orchester Bonn, plus the London, Los Angeles, Chicago, BBC Symphony, Bochum, Tokyo Metropolitan, Yomiuri Nippon, Oslo and Berlin Philharmonic orchestras. He premiered Mark-Anthony Turnage’s “Erskine — Concerto for Drumset & Orchestra” with Beethoven Orchester Bonn and performed it at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Peter has been voted ’Best Jazz Drummer of the Year’ ten times by the readers of Modern Drummer magazine and was elected into its Hall of Fame in 2017. Peter graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy and studied at Indiana University under George Gaber. Peter is an author with several books to his credit, including “No Beethoven” — an autobiography and chronicle of the band Weather Report — plus his latest title, “The Musician’s Lifeline.” Peter is Professor of Practice & Director of Drumset Studies at USC, and conducts masterclasses worldwide, while his latest endeavors include several innovative play-along apps for iOS.

Joey Calderazzo
Joey Calderazzo
piano

One of the finest pianists of his generation, having recorded thirteen albums as a leader, Joey Calderazzo has traveled the road from child prodigy to in-demand session musician to elite member of the finest ensembles in jazz. He’s accompanied the music’s geniuses, from Michael Brecker and Branford Marsalis to Jack DeJohnette and Dave Holland. Throughout his journey, Calderazzo has boldly explored his own psyche and his place in the world, as a composer, improvisor, band member, and leader.

Calderazzo’s long running trio, which recently recorded Live From The Cotton Club Tokyo, Volume I, is his place of relaxation and exploration, where improvisation is key, freedom is the norm, and swing is absolute. Joined by bassist Orlando Le Fleming and drummer Donald Edwards, Calderazzo examines original material and choice cover renditions in a live performance inspired by his prodigiously broad approach to jazz.

Learn More at joeycalderazzo.com

Mike Moreno
Mike Moreno
guitars

Originally from Houston, Texas, Mike began studying music formally at the Houston High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, a school renowned for its musical alumni, which includes such luminaries as Jason Moran, Robert Glasper, Brian Michael Cox, Eric Harland, Chris Dave, Kendrick Scott, and Beyoncé.

After graduating, Mike moved to New York City with a scholarship to attend the New School University. While still in school he began garnering the recognition necessary to be called to perform and tour with some of the most venerable names in the Jazz world as well as rising stars of the scene.

Over the years, they have included The Joshua Redman Elastic Band, Lizz Wright Band, Nicholas Payton Quartet, Stefon Harris Black Out, Me’Shell N’Degeocello, Common, Jason Moran, Terence Blanchard, Robert Glasper, Kendrick Scott Oracle, Ambrose Akinmusire, Gretchen Parlato, Aaron Parks, Claudia Acuña, Greg Osby 4, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Jeremy Pelt, Jochen Rueckert, John Ellis, Myron Walden, Will Vinson and more.

Learn more at mikemoreno.com

Essiet Okon Essiet
Essiet Okon Essiet
bass

Essiet Okon Essiet first received critical acclaim more than a decade ago as a member of saxophonist Bobby Watson’s post hard bop group Horizon. He has long since established himself
as one of New York’s premier bassist. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, his parents having moved there from Nigeria, West Africa, the family later moved to Wisconsin where Essiet began his
musical studies at age 10 on the violin. Four years, later he switched to the bass. As a child, and into his teens, his family moved often. His father worked for the US, as well as the Nigerian
government, and his job took the family to many places including Europe, Africa and various cities in the US. His family finally settled in Portland, Oregon where he began studying jazz at
the age of 14. Having traveled widely as a youngster with his family, he had an easy time adjusting to life on the road once he turned professional. More importantly, his early exposure to
many cultures, languages, folkways and religions, fostered his world view of strength through diversity. “Some musicians are purist” says Essiet, “but I like to mix styles. I like many different
types of cultures”.

His first big break came in 1982 when he met Chicago based percussionist Famoudou Don Moye, a founding member of such important collectives as the Art Ensemble of Chicago and The
Leaders. Moye asked Essiet to join his quartet and during that same year the bassist met Abdullah Ibrahim, the famed South African pianist. Working with Ibrahim, Essiet toured the globe
splitting his time between Europe and the US during the period from 1982 to 1986. Eventually Essiet settled in NYC. Two years later, he joined Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and
remained in the group until the famed drummer/teacher’s passing in 1990. During the next decade, the bassist began what has proven to be a significant freelance career.
He has performed and recorded with such notables as Benny Golson, Johnny Griffin, James Moody, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Cedar Walton, Sam Rivers, George Adams, Pat
Martino, Kenny Burrell, Jackie McLean, Frank Morgan, Kenny Barron, Louis Hayes, Ben Riley, Jimmy Cobb, Billy Higgins, Billy Hart, Art Farmer, Abby Lincoln, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Billy
Cobham, Bennie Maupin, Al Foster, Eddie Henderson, Steve Turre, Jon Faddis, Bobby Watson, Victor Lewis, Kenny Garrett, Kenny Kirkland, Mulgrew Miller, Jeff “Tain ” Watts, Mike Stern,
Kevin Mahogany, Kurt Elling, Fort Apache Band, Danilo Perez, Claudia Acuna, Geri Allen, and Ralph Peterson to highlight only a partial list.

In 1997, he was asked to join an incarnation of the Blue Note Allstars which included Greg Osby, Javon Jackson, Tim Hagens, Kevin Hays, and Bill Stewart. The Blue Note Allstars
embarked on a number of tours including Canadian Festivals, US tours, Europe and Japan. In 2000 he joined Danilo Perez’s Motherland project for 2 years touring the US, Europe and
Central America.

Currently, Essiet leads his own group called “IBO” named after a Nigerian tribe. It is a Nigerian jazz project which mixes jazz harmonies with West African rhythms.