Jennifer Porter (musical artist)
Jennifer Nichole Porter
September 24, 1968
|Alma mater||University Of Maine|
|Height||5 ft 6 in (168 cm)|
Jennifer Porter (born 24 September 1968) is an American singer-songwriter and actor. She is best known for her multi-award-winning and chart-topping albums These Years, Sun Come And Shine, and Easy Living. Her discography spans multiple genres from Jazz to Blues to Country and her narrative songwriting, which is often inspired by her personal life, has received widespread media coverage and critical praise.
Porter’s talent has attracted multiple collaborations with industry-leading artists such as The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Lawrence Manchester, Jay Newland, C.J. Chenier, Charlie McCoy, Christian McBride, Cindy Cashdollar, Rob Paparozzi, Bernard Purdie, Wilbur Bascombe, George Naha, Steve Jankowski, and Tom Timko.
Aside from music, Porter is known for her roles in the films Mr. Barrington, and 40 WEST. Her accolades include two W.A.M. Awards and three nominations, five Independent Music Network Award nominations, and a winning award for Favorite Female Crossover Artist, and four Prestige Film Awards.
Early life and education
Porter was born on September 24, 1968, in Springfield, MA to Cynthia Gilmore Porter and Dr. Barry Porter. She began playing piano at the tender age of five and eventually started singing as well. Her teachers entered her into numerous music competitions where she always excelled. Growing up as a shy kid, Porter often turned to music to express her feelings.
Porter attended The University of Maine after graduating from high school, where she studied to become a professional opera singer and classical pianist. When she was 20 years old, Porter was the first vocalist in Maine to be inducted into the prestigious musical honor society Pi Kappa Lambda, which rewards distinction in music academics.
In 1989, Porter left college to begin her career in the music industry. For several years, she played jazz clubs extensively with her quartet. During this time she began an acting career that paralleled her music career, and developed a reputation for taking on demanding stage roles. In 1990, she became Artistic Director at Saco River Theatre where she also music directed and choreographed shows. In 1998 she released her debut album, Hyacinth Boy Blue, which featured 14 of her own songs. Later that year, she starred in and composed the fim score for the short film, The Ballad Of Ida And Doob (1999), after which she went on to write the screenplays for the award-winning feature films, Mr. Barrington (2003) and 40 West (2011). She starred in both films, turning in critically-lauded performances. She composed and performed the film scores for both films, which led to her 2012 release of the 40 West Soundtrack and the 2015 release of the Mr. Barrington Soundtrack. 40 West would go on to win 17 international film awards, four of them for Jennifer, including awards for acting, screenwriting, original score, and original song. She recorded her first jazz album, The Way You Look Tonight, in 2013, followed by 2014’s Easy Living, and 2015’s EP, Moonglow.
Porter’s Easy Living, which she collaborated on with Grammy-winning producer Lawrence Manchester, was nominated for a 2015 Independent Music Award in the Jazz With Vocals category, and was broadcast on radio stations across the U.S., including WWOZ in New Orleans, Public Radio International's Jazz After Hours, and KJAZZ in Los Angeles, where her music received radio play every day for 13 months.
In 2018 Porter released her highly-acclaimed Americana album, These Years which was played on radio stations throughout the United States and Europe. The album was recorded with Grammy-winning producer Jay Newland and included special guests C.J. Chenier and Country Music Hall-of-Famer, Charlie McCoy. These Years earned Jennifer a 2020 We Are The Music Makers award for Best Roots/Americana/Blues Album and a 2019 Independent Music Network award for Best Female Crossover Artist. She was also nominated for four other Independent Music Network Awards. Her song from These Years, “Road To Redemption”, hit #1 on various national Country music charts in the United States, while the title track hit #2 on the Independent Music Network’s Mainstream Charts.
Sun Come And Shine, Porter's most recent album, released in 2021, was recorded with legendary drummer and music director Bernard Purdie. On this project, Porter was joined by Grammy-winners Christian McBride and Cindy Cashdollar and Grammy nominees Rob Paparozzi and C.J. Chenier. Other notable contributors included bassist Wilbur Bascombe, guitarist George Naha, and Steve Jankowski, and Tom Timko on horns. The title track from Sun Come And Shine received a 2021 We Are The Music Makers award for Best Roots/Americana/Blues song. In this same competition, Porter was nominated for best Soul Song, Best Adult Contemporary Song, and Best Female Artist. Sun Come And Shine hit #1 on The Roots Music Reports Jazzy Blues Album Charts and was named Album Of The Week by Portugal's Smooth FM. Seven songs from the album reached the top ten on the Roots Music Reports Jazzy Blues Song Charts and four reached the top 10 on Portugal's Blues Radio Charts.
As of 2022, Porter has released eight albums spanning the Jazz, Blues, and Country genres.
|1||Hyacinth Boy Blue||1998||Album (14 songs)|
|2||40 West Soundtrack||2012||Album (15 songs)|
|3||The Way You Look Tonight||2013||Album (11 songs)|
|4||Easy Living||2014||Album (13 songs)|
|5||Mr. Barrington Soundtrack||2015||Album (21 songs)|
|6||Moonglow||2015||EP (3 songs)|
|7||These Years||2018||Album (10 songs)|
|8||Sun Come and Shine||2021||Album (10 songs)|
- 2021 W.A.M. Award Best Americana Song- "Sun Come And Shine"
- 2021 W.A.M. Award-Honorable Mention R&B/Soul song -"Show Me Your Love"
- 2021 W.A.M. Award -Bronze Adult Contemporary Song-"Bitter New York Night"
- 2021 W.A.M.Award Nominee-Female Artist Of The Year
- 2020 W.A.M. Award Best Roots/Americana/Blues album- 'These Years"
- 2019 Independent Music Network Award- Favorite Female Crossover Artist
- 2019 Independent Music Network Award Nominee- Favorite Country Female Artist
- 2019 Independent Music Network Award Nominee- Best Country Single - "Road To Redemption"
- 2019 Independent Music Network Award Nominee- Favorite Mainstream Female Artist
- 2019 Independent Music Network Award Nominee- Record Label Of The Year-Cougar Moon Music
- 2015 Independent Music Award Nominee- Best Jazz With Vocals Album- "Easy Living"
- 2012 Prestige Award -Leading Actress-”40 West”
- 2012 Prestige Award-Original Score-”40 West”
- 2012 Prestige Award-Original Song-"Skin And Bone"
- 2012 Prestige Award-Original Screenplay -”40 West”
Porter holds a second-degree black belt in Tai Ju-Jitsu and has advanced training in Kali and Jeet Kune Do. In her free time, she likes to garden and maintains beautiful perennial beds at her Maine home. Porter is fluent in English and Spanish.
In the media
- sami, aisa (7 August 2021). "Exploring the Extensive Musicality in Jennifer Porter's Newest Album `Sun Come And Shine`". ailovemusic. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
- Ponti, Aimsel (5 July 2021). "Face the Music: Legendary drummer lends expertise, and a few friends, to Buxton singer's new album". Press herald. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
- "Jennifer Porter". Ukcountryradio. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
- Michel Feld, Karina (7 Jun 2021). "Rising Music Star Jennifer Porter of Cougar Moon Music On The Five Things You Need To Shine In The Music Industry". Medium. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
- "JENNIFER PORTER Opens Up About Writing Her Newest 7th Album and More!". All Access Music Group. 11 December 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
- CONNOR, DAVID (15 July 2021). "Jennifer Porter". isthismusic. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
- "Jennifer Porter with Dana Packard Tiny Screen Concert - Brown Bag Edition". Maine Public. 16 November 2020. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
- "Exclusive Video Premiere: Jennifer Porter's Pinetop Perkins-Influenced 'Sun Come And Shine'". American Blues Scene. 18 June 2021. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
- Beltran, Kendra (18 June 2022). "'Sun Come and Shine' by Jennifer Porter". Rising Artists Blog. Retrieved 15 February 2022.