• PRESS PLAY: Nicole Henry Serves Sensual Jazz Without Gimmicks

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    Unlike other forms of music, jazz brings together a different type of listener, a musical elitist with a refined palette. As a novice to the jazz scene, I was taken aback by the plush charcoal velvet seats and wood floors inside the 2,300 square-foot venue. For me, the polished crowd, the flowing glasses of red wine, and the scholarly small talk I overheard was very much the high life, but for true jazz fans, it was just Wednesday.

    The lights went dim; the band walked on stage and drummer, Dave Chiverton, tickled the high-hats bringing everyone gleefully to the edge of their seats. Then, in a floor-length cream silk taffeta Badgley Mischka gown, with a slit up the middle, Henry arrived and opened the show with the Stealers Wheel classic “Stuck in the Middle with You.”

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    The jazz-soul singer’s voice has undeniable power and just enough rasp to give it some grit. As the music moves through her, Henry’s body contorts with each note, physically putting herself into her performance.

    Over the one-hour set, Henry did renditions of Gladys Knight’s “Neither One Of Us” and Aretha Franklin’s “Spirit In the Dark,” showcasing her ability to make not only a song, but a classic, all her own.

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