A True Bakersfield Success Story
There was hardly any indication that there was something going on at Highland high school, but this wound up being a high school talent show for years to come: Two future arena-thumping rock stars competing alongside a preacher’s son who one day would win international awards for his amazing jazz music.
And not just coming from here anymore, at least in Porter’s case. The very smooth singer is now 45 years young and he has come back to his hometown of Bakersfield where his mother was heavily involved in churches in southeast Bakersfield where gospel music influence is heavy.
The great jazz musician says – “I have taken in so many experiences, on the good and the bad side, that I’ve had here in Bakersfield and put it into my music. I want to tell it all to the world.”
Since I have relocated back to Bakersfield, I’m definitely taking the energy of this great city and the history here and taking it with me all over the world – from New York City to clear across the globe in Australia. I am carrying in a way the light and the songs and the style that my mother gave to me here in Bakersfield.”
“Because of everything that has been going on with me, it still feels like a dream. The absolute coolest thing for me about this music is that a lot of it is close to home in Bakersfield.”
Porter is very confident in his singing and delivery and this allows for a lot of emotion in each song, such as “Take Me to the Alley,” which is dedicated to his mother who died of breast cancer..
“My goal is to look into as much history as possible in Bakersfield. There is an eclectic group of people living in this great city. A lot of blue collar, working class type of people from all different ethnic backgrounds. I would love to know what the songs were from those black men that would sell watermelons when I was young. Bakersfield is a very heavily cultured community and I am dying to see what it’s about.”