November 30, 2018
Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
$20 for adults and $10 for full-time Pepperdine students
The Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts presents: Nicole Henry, Set for the Season
Friday, November 30, 2018
Acclaimed jazz singer Nicole Henry brings new life to classic holiday repertoire with her soul-inspired Christmas show on Friday, November 30 at 8 p.m. at Pepperdine University's Smothers Theatre in Malibu.
Since her debut in 2004, Henry has established herself as one of the jazz world's most acclaimed vocalists, possessing a potent combination of dynamic vocal abilities, impeccable phrasing, and powerful emotional resonance. Her repertoire includes the American Songbook, classic and contemporary jazz, contemporary standards, blues, and originals, while her accompaniment ranges from a simple jazz trio to a full big band. For Set for the Season, Henry will be performing with a quintet configuration.
Henry's passionate, soulful voice and heart-felt charisma has earned her a 2013 Soul Train Award for “Best Traditional Jazz Performance,” three Top-10 US Billboard jazz albums, and rave reviews both domestically and internationally by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Japan Times, El Pais, Jazz Times, Essence, and more.
She has captivated audiences in over 15 countries, headlining at venues in cities including New York, Tokyo, Madrid, Moscow, Paris, Shanghai, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, and Miami. Henry has also performed in more than 30 music festivals worldwide and in some of the world’s most famous venues including Blue Note, NYC; Jazz at Lincoln Center; Blues Alley; Arsht Center; Feinstein’s; Green Mill; Madrid Jazz Festival; the Regattabar; and Catalina Jazz.
Her 2004 debut CD release, The Nearness of You, won considerable attention from audiences and critics in the US and in Japan, where they named her Best New Jazz Artist of 2004. The following year, Henry's Teach Me Tonight reached #1 in Japan and was named HMV Japan's Best Vocal Jazz Album of 2005. Then in 2008, The Very Thought of You substantially expanded her American audience, reaching #7 on Billboard's jazz chart.
The 2011 release of the Embraceable CD was a creative triumph for Henry as it expanded her recordings beyond those of the American Songbook jazz standards which had been her focus up until that time. Embraceable included more originals, soul and even a touch of gospel, and reached the Top 20 on jazz and smooth US jazz radio charts. Joining Henry on Embraceable was an amazing collection of jazz artists including Kirk Whalum, Gerald Clayton, John Stoddart, Julian Lage, Gil Goldstein, Larry Grenadier, and Eric Harland.
Henry demonstrates her diversity and skills as a performer and a peerless interpreter of songs on her 2013 release, So Good, So Right: Nicole Henry Live. The 13-track live album, which was recorded at sold-out performances at Feinstein’s in NYC in May 2012, showcases her soulful, inspired renditions of some of her favorite classic hits of the ‘70s from iconic artists including Bill Withers, Aretha Franklin, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, The Commodores, and Gladys Knight.
Growing up in a musical family in Bucks County, PA, Henry immersed herself in the arts early on, singing in school and church, and studying cello and ballet. After graduating from the University of Miami with a degree in communications and theatre, she launched a successful acting career, appearing in commercial roles as well as a series of voiceover assignments. However, she directed her strongest passion toward the development of her full-time singing career which was quickly rewarded in her present hometown when the Miami New Times named Henry “Best Solo Musician 2002.”
Performing favorites such as "O Holy Night," "The Christmas Song," and "Angels We Have Heard on High," Henry’s Set for the Season is a heartwarming holiday show that’s not only nostalgic, but inspiring.