A singular jazz vocalist and multi-instrumentalist whose work crosses seamlessly into the pop world, Curtis Stigers makes his debut at SFJAZZ in an intimate duo performance with master pianist Matt King.
With his new album This Life, Stigers doesn’t exactly sum up an extraordinarily productive three-decade run as a recording artist. Rather, the singer, songwriter, saxophonist and guitarist has compiled an irresistible sizzle reel of career highlights, reimagining key songs he’s performed since his eponymous 1991 debut album sold 1.5 million copies and introduced his original international hit “I Wonder Why.” Suddenly, the 25-year-old Stigers found himself opening for the likes of Elton John, Prince, Eric Clapton, James Brown, and Bonnie Raitt. His music has steadily evolved since then, and his repertoire reflects his gift for making even the most familiar songs sound new.
He covered Nick Lowe’s “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace Love And Understanding” on the mega hit soundtrack album for the 1992 Whitney Houston film The Bodyguard, and on This Life he sets the song to a cool, soul-jazz/bossa nova vibe. He infuses his signature song “I Wonder Why” with gospel fervor, and recasts his Emmy-nominated theme for the hit FX show Sons Of Anarchy, “This Life,” to a swampy groove. As a musical craftsman and an entertainer, Stigers is always looking for a new way into a song.