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Art Porter

Art Porter, a native of Little Rock, AR, began his musical education at home, learning and practicing jazz standards under the instruction of his father Art Porter, Sr., a renowned pianist and former accompanist for Carmen McCrae and John Stubblefield. Starting off on drums and becoming part of his father's band, Porter was drawn to the sax after noticing the melodic proficiency of his father and another band member, Leonard Johnson, who was his high school band director. He decided to drop the drums and get into the harmonics of music. The saxophone intrigued him with it being so close to the human voice. Porter picked up the sax and found that he had a natural affinity with the instrument. When he was 16 and worked with his father's trio, he was barred from playing in clubs because he was under 21. The ensuing case led to Arkansas State's Attorney General Bill Clinton pushing through a law allowing underage performers to work if a parent or guardian supervises.

At 18, Porter learned his most valuable musical lessons when he began touring with such jazz masters as organist Jack McDuff and saxophonist Pharoah Sanders. He matured as a player and learned how to interact with an audience. In between concerts, Porter continued his studies at the Berklee Conservatory of Music and at Virginia Commonwealth University where he became a student of pianist/educator Ellis Marsalis.

In 1992, Porter came to Chicago on a scholarship to Northeastern Illinois University, finishing with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He went to study at Roosevelt University where he earned his master's degree. In the Windy City, Porter was mentored by legendary tenor saxophonist Von Freeman and bassist James Leary. When Porter was signed to Verve Forecast, he decided that instead of jumping on the then-current neo-classical jazz bandwagon, Porter decided to make his largely self-composed debut contemporary rather than bop-revisited in style. Produced and engineered by keyboardist Jeff Lorber, Pocket City was immediately embraced by those who didn't want their smooth jazz "too smooth" in the summer of 1992. The key tracks, the heart-melting ballad "Inside Myself," a cover of Maxi Priest's "Close to You," and funky hoppin' "Pocket City" (whose video was played on VH1 and BET) were played on both smooth jazz and a few urban stations. Porter was sent on a promotional and concert tours where he built up a reputation for being very amiable and giving a high-octane performance. Porter was a whirling wonder on stage, smiling like a Chesire cat, blowing his heart out, running around the venue honking it up. On November 23, 1996, while journeying to a remote part of Thailand to perform in a jazz festival, Porter was killed when the boat he was riding in capsized.

Beside his four Verve sets, Pocket City, Straight to the Point, Undercover, Lay Your Hands on Me, and the posthumously released For Art's Sake, Art Porter appeared as a sideman on recordings by Jeff Lorber, Tom Grant, and Ramsey Lewis and was infusing a hard bop sound sensibility to smooth jazz when he was killed. ~ Ed Hogan, Rovi
full bio

Comments

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skittabba
I was so fortunate to see Art play in a very small club in downtown Grand Rapids, MI, in the early 90s. He awed us with his musical talent and charmed us with his personality. It is a night I will always remember.
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Alfoti940

I know for sure Our Lord GOD has got you center stage Art!
We continue to enjoy all the greatest you left us! May the Lord keep you resting in peace!
GOD BLESS!
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he deffiinatly new how to set easy listening mood music
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Such a Great artist and as we have seen too many times, he left us as GOD intended. I am a firm believer that GOD works in mysterious ways and knows the flowers to pick before we see the bloom. Art's music resonates in my mind and spirit as I would sit at Chene Park in Detroit listening to and seeing how great his music was. I hope that one day we will all enjoy that same sound in heaven as we enjoyed down here on earth!
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newchina231
This music is so nice. It makes me smile to know that such a wonderful artist loved us enough to leave our hearts with smooth loving vibes.
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Porter art and
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awesome song!!!!
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His legacy will never be forgotten, he made his mark on the music scene, only once in life time we are truly blessed to hear and experience the joy of such wonderful music, the angel's are enjoying themselves, he's headlining the concert as we speak, God is smiling, tapping his feet to the beat, Art you are missed
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lingal17
Truly gifted, always remembered.
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Yes this is some Oh Baby Music.
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very relaxing, soothing, melting,slow lovemaking yeeeeaaaahhh h h h
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A true talent, I had the opportunity to see him perform in Chicago. He perform one of my favorites Lake Shore Drive.
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August, 1996 live at Chene Park in the D, his jazzy smooth performance truly captivated & moved the audience with finger popping & dancing. Definitely gone way too soon & greatly missed!
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jcsuccess77
Sooooooooooo o o o o o o o o smooth!
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rbwl307
A great loss to the jazz music world along with many more of my favorites. But the music still lives on, thank you Art for the love
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Gone way too soon. Brother was smooth as silk. His sound was tender as a mother's love. RIP. Still listening.
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my baby introduced me to art's music, what a great artist !
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I played Lead Trumpet in Jazz Band when Art was a Sr in high school--what an honor and priviledge !!! He was incredible in high school and the girls always screamed when he would solo.
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Still������h i s music #saxmanextro r d i n a r e . You left us far too soon....
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paksoot
Such huge talent. We were blessed to have him share it with us in only for a while.
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Always an AP fan!!! My first intro to his music was Pocket City and I've been vibing ever since!
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This is a awesome piece!
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gardenofmone y
loved his insurmountab l e passion for music/sax. love AP and miss him soo much.
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gardenofmone y
Such an accomplished sax play...AWESO M E . Saw him on MIDNIGHT MAC (remember when the great Bernic Mac had that show) and I had never seen a person dancing (literally dancing) while playing the sax. That was the late great Art Porter. Rest in peace my brother, you are missed.
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Miss your music..never got a chance to see him....
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I'm listening to him right now, he was a great performer, got a chance to meet him during a meet and greet, and I ask for a kiss on the cheek, lol he was such a sweet person and loved his fans. You are truly missed.
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Art truly one of the greatest
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Smooth, relaxing, I am work and this makes and relaxies me at work so well it makes my work enjoyable.
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What a Awesome Talent.. I pray he is smoothing out his clarinet in Heaven for the Lord..
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Art....I will miss you everyday for the rest of my life....I have had the pleasure of meeting your two sons, and I keep them close to my heart...I love you...See you on the other side...
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To my ears, Art Porter was the best sax player alive. If you disagree, listen to Little People and Broken Promise,Almo s t There. Mr. Paul
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lingal17
The good die young but their music lives on forever. RIP Art Jr. Still grooving to your music.
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gardenofmone y
got to comment again...take s me back, such an incredible talent. truly missed!
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gardenofmone y
awesome sax playin brother who was the first I had ever seen dancing with the sax on MIDNIGHT MAC (our own Bernie Mac). We truly miss your music and your contribution to the incredible music industry. love ya Art Porter.
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May he be remembered through his music
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One of God's greatest sax players! All of his music was great. A major loss to the music industry when he was taken away. Much too young... Much too soon! Continue your playing for God, Art!
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I am from Little Rock, Arkansas and enjoyed listening to Art's musical style and had the opportunity to see him perform live along with my classmate Veronica Nunn. Such great talent!!!! I will miss you.
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I was blessed to meet him a year before his death. He was a great guy. Very nice to the audience. When I heard of his passing, I was devastated.! I miss you Mr. Art Porter...
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his musical genius lingers in his recordings.. . w a y to represent Mr. Porter...fel l o w VCU RAM.
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He was certainly one of the greats. He is missed but lives on through his music.
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He left us all with the wow effect. I loved his creative style and his ability to convey what we all enjoy
MUSIC ......
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Art porter is awesome at every song he played...
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Thk God4 The Late&Great Art Porter,we mis U Mann.
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I miss you Art!!! Love your music.
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What an explosive and talented musician Art was. I got to see him several times in the late 90's. He was exploding all over Ohio with his dynamic horn playing self. I feel in love with him and his style of playing. He would just blow you away. I heard of his passing and was so depressed. I later learned he passed on my birthday 11-23. I think of him every year and miss him. He was just about to blow up! Well, I know he has blown their socks off in Heaven. Luv you Art!
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GOD blessed us through this family. I worked at the restaurant he played at with his father. They were a joy to hear during rehearsals and to hang out with him and talk was pretty cool. We were just two 16 year old kids looking forward to the future.
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C.Greer meeting Arts family must of been a treat -like the delicious sounds he left with us-my heart still yearns to hear more of him+
Report as inappropriate
rhollis63
Art Porter.... An Angel who left us the most wonderful gift.
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Damn! I was reading the bio + then Blast HE died what a shock! Too damn young + talented to die too soon (I lost my son when he was 38 sooooooo I know how it feels to loose someone too soon)
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I love this one from my hometown brother. Hopefully I can hear him live in God's new Paradise.
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