Gregory Porter's musical awakening came upon hearing his mother's Nat King Cole records as a child - Porter would later write a show in homage to the singer. After seeing his dreams of professional football thwarted by a major injury, the California-born artist turned to music. With the help of his mentor, the multi-instrumentalist and composer Kamau Kenyatta, Porter honed his skills in San Diego jazz clubs before landing a role in the musical It Ain't Nothing But the Blues. His resume also includes a collaboration with famed flutist Hubert Laws. A gifted songwriter, he penned most of the jazz and soul-oriented material appearing on his albums: Water (2010), Be Good (2012), Liquid Spirit (2013), winner of a Grammy for Best jazz vocal album, and Take Me to the Alley (2016).