America’s home-brewed music has always been a heady mix of diverse traditions—sacred & secular, juke joint & big city, African, European, and the opera house.
R&B songwriter, drummer, and vocalist Porter Carroll, Jr. has been tight-rope walking that cross-cultural tradition since before he was born…
Through his parents’ migration from southern sharecroppers, to New York suburbanites and their passion for every flavor of American music. And through his own evolution…
From a high school garage band in a breathtakingly diverse community, to leading the hit-making R&B super-group Atlantic Starr, to composing, touring, and recording with artists like the Temps, Luther Vandross, Taj Mahal, Denise Williams, and Hall & Oates.
Now Porter is taking that trans-millennial musical odyssey uptown, in the ultimate cross-cultural crossover. It’s a soul-stirring night of irresistible music, blending the richest traditions of blues and soul with the unconventional and emotional power-punch of a major philharmonic orchestra in Porter Carroll Jr.’s Symphony Rhythm and Blues…and music is just the tip of the iceberg.
Porter Carroll Jr. has an all-American story to tell: the upbringing of a self-taught musician; a tale that wraps the ambitions of every child who’s ever dreamed of making the big-time into the story behind the music of all our lives. It’s a story of family, community, diversity, race, and change, of paying your dues and busting your chops, of paths taken or not, and life on the road. Not just one man’s coming of age, but the soul of a nation, and the traditions behind our most popular “crossover” musical genre—Rhythm & Blues.
Symphony Rhythm and Blues weaves this quintessentially American story into an hour-long special that takes viewers backstage, inside the creation of a breakout musical evening, and puts them in the front row for a concert like you’ve never heard before. Along with Grammy-winning composer & arranger Michael Colina, Porter Carroll Jr. has cooked-up a “new” American Songbook—the greatest hits of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, performed live, in a high-test musical hybrid driven by the power of a full orchestra and founded in the unmistakable soul of R&B.
-Peter Schnall, Partisan Pictures