Nicole Henry is an award-winning American jazz singer. Her debut CD, The Nearness of You received critical acclaim and earned Henry the "Best New Jazz Artist" award by HMV Japan. Henry's Teach Me Tonight reached #1 in Japan and was named HMV Japan's Best Vocal Jazz Album of 2005. She won the 2013 Soul Train Music Award for "Best Traditional Jazz Performance".
Nicole Henry was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her father, Al Henry, moved his family when he played basketball for the Philadelphia 76ers and she grew up in the small community of Andalusia, Bensalem Township, Bucks County.
In 2000, Henry toured as a background singer for Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise, performing dance music. She discovered jazz while singing in Miami Beach when her then bassist, Paul Shewchuk, invited her to learn some jazz standards to perform with his trio. The Miami New Times named Henry “Best Solo Musician 2002”.
In 2004, Henry released her debut CD, The Nearness of You, on Banister Records. The album earned Henry the "Best New Jazz Artist" award by HMV Japan.
The following year, Henry's Teach Me Tonight reached #1 in Japan and was named HMV Japan's Best Vocal Jazz Album of 2005.
Her 2008 album The Very Thought of You reached #7 on Billboard's jazz chart. On this third studio album, she worked with contemporary songwriters like K.J. Denhert (I Found You), and James Bryan, with whom she co-wrote "All That I Can See."
Her 2011 release Embraceable reached Top 20 on U.S. Jazz and Smooth Jazz Radio Charts and featured Kirk Whalum, Gerald Clayton, John Stoddart, Julian Lage, Gil Goldstein, Larry Gernadier and Eric Harland among others.
In 2012, she made her San Francisco debut at The Razz Room. Sean Martinfield of The Huffington Post wrote "Nicole Henry emerges hands down as this generation's First Lady of Jazz."
In 2013, she sang new renditions of hits from the 1970s on her album So Good, So Right: Nicole Henry Live recorded in front of sold-out crowds at Feinstein's in New York City.
In 2013, Henry received the "Soul Train Award" for "Best Traditional Jazz Performance" after competing with George Benson, Jeffrey Osborne, Chaka Khan, Tony Bennett, Marc Anthony and Terrence Blanchard.
In 2015, Henry released her seventh CD, entitled Summer Sessions, an eight-song acoustic EP with both covers and originals, accompanied by James Bryan.
Throughout her career, the media has taken notice of Ms. Henry, singing her praises and acknowledging her prowess:
“I had the sense of being in the presence of a pop-soul superwoman whose every gesture and inflection conveyed confidence and mastery…. time and again she invested familiar songs with an extra fillip of conviction and made you reconsider the words.” - Stephen Holden, NY Times
"A jazz singer of pop instinct and cabaret sophistication." - Nate Chinen, New York Times
“Jazz singer Nicole Henry seems a paragon of perfection. She is tall, willowy and poised… The voice that pours out of her is even more impressive…the vocal love child of Whitney Houston and Sarah Vaughan." - Jordan Levin, Miami Herald
“(Henry) can sell a power ballad as well as Whitney, Diana and Patti.” - Jazz Times
"She is the genuine article, the dream at last come true.” - Huffington Post
Henry was invited to sing the National Anthem at the Orange Bowl in both 2010 and 2018.
In 2019, she returned to the theatrical stage and garnered critical praise for her portrayal of Nikki Marron in “The Bodyguard," a new musical based on the smash hit 1992 film. In late 2020, she will perform in the new musical “A Wonderful World,” the story of Louis Armstrong, debuting at the Colony Theatre in Miami Beach, FL.
Henry is currently in the studio working on her eighth album which is slated to be released in late 2020.
- The Nearness of You (Banister, 2004)
- Teach Me Tonight (Venus, 2005)
- The Very Thought of You (Banister, 2008)
- Embraceable (ArtistShare, 2011)
- Set for the Season (Banister 2011)
- So Good, So Right (Banister, 2013)
- Nicole Henry & James Bryan - Summer Sessions (Banister, 2015)