“There’s plenty for jazz and funk fans to savor here, and Warfield’s Hell’s Kitchen Funk Orchestra delivers a tasty meal for the ears.”
~Bill Milkowski, contributor to Down Beat & Jazziz
“Vocalist Nicole Henry pleasingly brings together a range of styles—smooth and mainstream jazz, along with pop and gospel.”
~ All About Jazz
Lehigh University Music Department presents its annual spring jazz performance with Bill Warfield and the Hell’s Kitchen Funk Orchestra featuring vocalist Nicole Henry with Lehigh University Jazz Repertory Orchestra on April 16 at 8pm in Baker Hall. Tickets are $15; general admission. WDIY is the Lehigh University Music Department media sponsor.
Nicole 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 passionate, soulful voice and heart-felt charisma has earned her a 2013 Soul Train Award for “Best Traditional Jazz Performance,” three Top-10 U.S. Billboard and HMV Japan jazz albums. Heralded by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Japan Times, El Pais, Jazz Times, Essence and more, Henry tells real stories through repertoire from the American Songbook, classic and contemporary jazz, contemporary standards, blues and originals.
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. Ms. 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.
Bill Warfield, since his 1988 opus, the New York City Jazz, trumpeter-composer-arranger has been widely known as a dyed-in-the-wool big band guy culminating in last year’s Trumpet Story, with special guest Randy Brecker. This time out, Warfield had something completely different in mind. As he explained, “The original idea was to do a mid ‘60s Miles kind of thing, and as I got more into it and started thinking about it, my roots are really in rhythm ‘n’ blues. All the bands I played in growing up in Baltimore were Motown bands and funk bands and Atlantic Starr kinds of bands. Baltimore is like the Oakland of the East Coast in that regard. That funky side of things is well represented on this project dubbed ‘The Hell’s Kitchen Funk Orchestra’ by their intrepid leader, who resides in the Hell’s Kitchen section of Manhattan. But to call it just a funk band is far too limiting for this remarkably versatile outfit. Indeed, few other bands have the wherewithal to go from Joe Zawinul to Tito Puente, Fats Waller, Eddie Harris and Snarky Puppy in a single record.
Warfield has released nine previous albums leading his own ensembles and has appeared in the horn sections of numerous other albums, including two by the acclaimed Bill Kirchner Nonet. Over the years he has performed with such artists as Ornette Coleman, Mel Torme, Mel Lewis, David Liebman and Sonny Stitt. He received a commission from the Spanish government to arrange and produce “Hollywood Jazz” for the 1992 Olympics in that country, and has also been commissioned by the Berlin Radio Orchestra and the US Air Force “Airmen Of Note.” In addition, Warfield is the founder and director of the New York Jazz Repertory Orchestra as well as its offshoot, the New York Jazz Octet, and also the Lehigh Valley Jazz Repertory Orchestra.
Tickets for April 16 are $15; free for Lehigh students. For more information, call 610-758-2787, ext. 0 or visit Zoellner Ticket Services, Tuesday 12-6 pm, Wednesday – Friday from 12–5 pm, two hours before curtain, or online at www.zoellnerartscenter.org. Senior, student, group and LVAIC discounts are available.