AMERICAN singer Gregory Porter, the biggest-selling jazz artist of 2017, is on a spring tour, playing Leeds First Direct Arena next Friday.

The Grammy-winning Porter has enjoyed his highest ever position in the British charts, peaking at number three with Nat King Cole And Me, an album that attracted one million streams three times faster than his previous record, 2016's Take Me To The Alley.

"I'm very grateful for the success of Nat King Cole And Me," says Porter. "This is a deeply personal project and a humble tribute to Nat’s incredible music. I can trace his influence back to when I was five or six years old, when Nat’s music filled a void in me when my father wasn’t in my life and wasn’t showing interest in me. Nat’s words were the life lessons, words of wisdom and fatherly advice I needed."

Porter has appeared on BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night Is Music Night for a special episode, Gregory Porter And Friends, recorded at the London Coliseum, where he performed songs made famous by Cole, his own award-winning songs, contemporary classics and standards from the Great American Song Book in the company of Irish singer Imelda May, the 60-piece BBC Concert Orchestra and the BBC Big Band.

Last year, he launched his own television series, BBC Four’s Gregory Porter’s Popular Voices, a three-part exploration of great vocalists throughout history.

His tour opens and closes with orchestral shows at the Royal Albert Hall, London, and his Leeds set will showcase Nat King Cole And Me and cherry-pick highlights from 2013's Liquid Spirit and fellow Grammy winner Take Me To The Alley. Porter also plays Sheffield City Hall on April 15.

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