I contemplated purchasing a ticket for Gregory Porter for a long time. At least a few months. I finally bit the bullet after listening to a few of his concerts on youtube. I knew I would kick myself for not going. I even booked a trip after the show and just planned around it. I had to see him. Apparently, Houston finally got the memo as the show was sold out.
Gregory opened with one of my favorite songs, On my way to Harlem and Be Good. I was thinking where are we going to go from here. You already sang my favorites. Yet, the show continued to be great as time went on. Gregory finds a way to bring you into each song as if it is a new one. Everything about his performance is intriguing, especially his background behind the story.
One would think that Gregory is from NYC (though he lives there now). Yet, the fact that he is a native of Bakersfield, California threw me entirely off. To throw my bias of what a jazz musician should have as a background further, he is a former football player. Gregory was determined to be a professional athlete until he had an injury while playing at San Diego State University, where he had a full athletic scholarship.
Yet, it was not until his mother who was terminally ill asked him to sing professionally that he took her advice. Though he sang in the church most of his life, he is what we call a “late bloomer.” Thank God not too late. Gregory’s success reflects the fact that it is never too late to live in your purpose. He is a talent much needed in the mundane world of music today. In addition, his live performance engages you even more than listening at home.
I am so happy we were able to experience Gregory in Houston and though it took him a while to get here, we hope he is back soon.