Embraceable, the latest CD offering of jazz singer Nicole Henry, debuted before an enthusiastic crowd at an Official Miami Listening & Launch Party on August 31, 2011.
The party, at The Stage in the Design District, capped a frenetic schedule of release events that began in New York on August 22 with Henry’s participation in Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center program.
Embraceable, her fifth album, represents a new phase in her career – a willingness to take on multiple genres and idioms within the context of a single CD or performance.
In an August 29 interview with Tracy Fields on WLRN Radio, Henry described the evolution of her professional career from rhythm-and-blues to soft pop music and then to jazz. She said Embraceable is her most eclectic album yet, still anchored in jazz but with allusions to her musical origins.
A Pennsylvania native, Henry graduated from the University of Miami and has made South Florida her home ever since. At UM, she initially studied architecture, then switched to advertising and theater. After graduation, she worked for the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc., the organization that presents the Grammy Awards; and also cashiered at a South Beach club where she began singing on recordings of dance music.
Her career has progressed through a succession of local club and hotel dates, church choir concerts, appearances at community events, and national anthem performances at sporting contests – increasingly punctuated by travel to perform in New York, Japan, Europe, and Latin America.
Cinema and cookies
My wife (Rosalie E. Leposky, Miami Food and Drink Examiner) and I first met Henry in 2001 when she performed in The Miami Chronicles, a short film our daughter, Marjory, was producing.
Henry answered a casting call and won a part as – what else? – a singer. With other cast and crew members, she spent many hours in our living room and on location from May through September. It was a low-budget film, which meant nobody got paid, but Mama Rosalie fed everyone copious quantities of chocolate-chip cookies all summer long.
Through the years we have watched Henry systematically build a career as an entertainer. While surrounding herself with an effective professional entourage, she has managed to retain her own warm personality and her innate ability to reach out and connect with others. She told us a decade ago what she recently told Tracy Fields on WLRN: Beyond her own love of music, she sings to share that feeling with other people and – through music – to help them find their own personal pleasure and fulfillment.
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