Kurt Carr is becoming recognized as one of the most prolific Artists, songwriters, and producers of our generation…
A native of Hartford, Connecticut, The young Carr was raised in a loving Christian home however, unlike most traditional African American families they were not frequent Church Goers. He jokingly says “We were C.M.E. members Christmas, Mother’s Day, and Easter”!
At age 14 his family moved steps away from the Hopewell Baptist Church. One life changing Sunday Kurt walked to the church alone. Eventually, one by one his family became frequent church goers. He credits this to Gods Purpose, and calling on his life to draw others to God.
After Graduating High School with Honors, Carr went on to The University of Connecticut where he studied classical voice and piano. It is evident that his musical education is the catalyst behind his very eclectic musical range. He’s a musical chameleon that can seemingly do any style of music. Carr has performed his music in European cathedrals, in store front churches, and in some of the most prestigious venues in the world The White House, The Kennedy Center, Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center, The Hollywood Bowl, and Carnegie Hall.
Kurt Carr’s career changing moment came when the Rev. James Cleveland, renowned as the King of Gospel music, heard his amazing talent during the Gospel Music Workshop of America. Little did Carr know that Cleveland’s’ Music Director, Pastor Calvin Bernard Rhone had just given Cleveland his resignation because, he was going into full time pastoring. Kurt Carr was literally in the right place at the right time. Within 5 months he relocated to Los Angeles, California and became the new Musical Director, traveling the world with the Legendary Rev. James Cleveland until his untimely passing in 1991.
Carr’s next blessing was becoming Creative Music Director of music for the West Angeles Church of God in Christ where Bishop Charles E. Blake is Pastor. This Church is widely recognized for Bishop Blake’s unparalleled Integrity and Leadership. West Angeles is also considered the birthplace of the Praise and Worship sound in the Black church. With a string of successful CDs entitled Saints In Praise, West Angeles’ Music department changed the way African American musicians and singers approached Sunday Morning Music. Carr was blessed to be a part of that revolutionary music ministry.
During his time at West Angeles Kurt directed the 300 voice Choir Sunday after Sunday. He also worked alongside some of the West Angeles Church members who just so happen to be some of the Worlds most respected Artists…..Gladys Knight who calls Carr her little brother, Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole, Stephanie Mills, Denzel and Pauletta Washington, Lynn Whitfield and many more…Carr along with these legends produced some spectacular concerts at the church that helped raise funds to build the monumental West Angeles Cathedral. During his season at West Angeles Kurt worked also with Paul Skorich a gifted commercial writer, together they went on to do music for more than 50 commercials and major television advertisements.
With over 20 years of experience in the Gospel Music World Kurt Carr has delivered some of the most greatly recognized songs in recent history. His songs are sang in Christian churches world wide by every race, color, and creed. Including The Presence of the Lord Is Here, I Almost Let Go, I Never Lost My Praise, God Great God, Be Blessed, For Every Mountain which won a Grammy when recorded by Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, and We Lift Our Hands In The Sanctuary which was the breakout SMASH hit from the RIAA Certified GOLD CD Awesome Wonder, which to date has sold close to a million units. In addition to being a prolific songwriter, a singer and musician, Carr is also a Sought after Producer and has created Major hits for other artists that have received critical acclaim.
Shortly after hurricane Katrina, Carr teamed up with Bishop Paul Morton the Pastor of New Orleans’s most notable Mega ministry Greater St. Stephen. Carr wrote and produced the CD - I’m Still Standing, which included two #1 Hits I’m Still Standing and Be Blessed that EVERY church in America sang as a sign of unity and solidarity during one of the greatest natural disasters in American History!!
Carr also produced the Breakout CD for Minister Byron Cage and wrote the worldwide Hit “The Presence of the Lord Is Here”, which to date is considered a Praise and Worship Classic
The next Big Production spearheaded by Carr was I Never Lost My Praise. After a 10-year hiatus this was the Come Back CD of the Legendary Tramaine Hawkins. Kurt says this was possibly the most important thing that he had ever done because, The Hawkins Family’s CD Jesus Christ Is The Way was the First gospel record he had ever heard. His mother purchased it for him when she saw his interest in church at age 14… Carr says the Jesus Christ Is The Way record transformed his life…... So 30 years later to be asked to produce his musical hero Tramaine was an unbelievable full circle blessing. The CD collaboration between Carr and Hawkins is best known for The Title song, I Never Lost My Praise, a Tailor Made Kurt Carr original for the Diva Soprano. This body of work was possibly her most beloved project since her legendary classics such as Changed, Goin Up Yonder and He’s That Kind of Friend. The Song stayed #1 for many weeks.
Kurt Carr has also teamed up with another Iconic Gospel Artist…The Legendary Pastor Shirley Caesar….Carr produced the CD entitled Good God for the 15 time Grammy award winner. What an incredible opportunity to work with such an amazing gift such as the timelessly relevant Pastor Shirley Caesar! Truly a living legend.
Carr has garnered 10 Stellar Awards, 1 GMA Dove Award, he has been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, he has 2 Grammy Nominations, Special Honors Award given by his Fraternity Phi Beta Sigma Inc. Kurt was recently given the Extremely prestigious BMI Trail Blazer Award alongside his heroes Edwin and Tramaine Hawkins. He has also received top Honor at The 28th Annual Stellar Awards by receiving The James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award. He also has received 2 honorary doctorate degrees.
His most recent release Bless Somebody Else is a 16-track compilation of what is being called some of his greatest work. It features the amazing Kurt Carr Singers. Bless Somebody Else, the title track features an amazing cast of gospel and mainstream A-listers - Wes Morgan, Faith Evans, Fred Hammond, Yolanda Adams, Pastor Smokie Norful, Erica Campbell, Pastor John P Kee, Jekaylan Carr, Bishop Paul Morton, Keke Wyatt, Zacardi Cortez and Bishop TD Jakes.
In addition to his own release, Kurt Carr recently penned and produced the hit song Good Favor for the legendary Clark Sisters.
Carr believes his assignment in this season if his life is to be a blessing to others and to cause the people of the world to be more compassionate towards each other. This is what the Gospel is all about LOVE. If I can help somebody then my living shall not be in vain.