On tour after winning Tony and Grammy awards for his performance as Aaron Burr in the Broadway megahit “Hamilton,” singer-actor Leslie Odom Jr. came to Merrill Auditorium on Thursday night for a concert presented by Portland Ovations.

The 36-year-old Odom has a resume full of theater, TV and movie credits. Though he spoke with a good deal of humor about all that, the focus was on the music during this, his first visit to Portland.

Fronting a crack five-piece band, the singer explored a repertoire of pop and jazz standards along with a few tunes from his Broadway days during the 75-minute performance. His seasoned but smooth tenor provided many soulful, swinging and – assisted by a touch of reverb – soaring moments that showed he’s an artist and entertainer who respects musical traditions as well as recent innovations.

Odom featured a handful of tunes associated with Nat King Cole, who some in the multigenerational crowd likely remembered as an early crossover artist. “Mona Lisa” built to a dramatic peak while “Straighten Up and Fly Right” moved into a playful swing rhythm. The intimacy of “Unforgettable” featured a delicate solo from pianist Michael Mitchell to top off Odom’s emotive phrasing.

With both a trap drummer (John Davis) and a hand percussionist (Senfu Stoney) in the group, many of the selections were given a Caribbean or South American feel, making it feel as though the “Autumn Leaves” of one song title were falling far south of here Thursday night. The sambalike syncopations of “Look for the Silver Lining” led to a flavorful acoustic guitar solo from Steven Walker, highlighting the upbeat message delivered by Odom.

Upright bass player Orlando le Fleming developed a propulsive solo on “The Guilty Ones” before going electric to back an impeccable rock guitar excursion from Walker.

The singer moved things further forward in time with an incantatory take on Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” before pleasing many in the crowd with hits from “Hamilton.”

Odom again became Burr for the insistent hip-hop lines of “The Room Where It Happens,” while “Dear Theodosia” engendered a sing-along to its “someday” refrain. The latter was an overall thing of beauty, topped only by an encore drawn from the singer’s early career. The haunting “Without You” from the show “Rent” was the perfect cap on an evening full of memorable musical moments.

Steve Feeney is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.

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