Born and raised in California, Porter was inspired by his mother’s Nat King Cole records and sought to emulate the nurturing timbre of Cole’s voice from an early age. After high school, Porter moved to Brooklyn, where he worked as a chef and freelance singer. He began working with flutist Hubert Laws, and later released his debut album Water in 2010. His deft interpretations of unconventional jazz standards like “Black Nile” perked the public ear to his voice and earned him a Grammy nomination. In 2013, Porter released his first album for Blue Note, the seminal Liquid Spirit, which won a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album. The album captured Porter’s signature small-group sound: a primarily acoustic combo that pulsates rhythmically beneath Porter’s earthy vocals.
In 2017, Porter focused on the standards made famous by his idol for the record Nat King Cole & Me, floating over lush orchestral arrangements of Cole staples like “L-O-V-E” and “But Beautiful.” The following year, he recorded his first ever live concert and DVD at Royal Albert Hall, succeeded by international performances from Europe to the Caribbean.