Not long ago I happened to be in West Palm Beach when Nicole Henry was to perform, so without hesitating I went with my eleven-year- old son and my friend and PR specialist Scott Thompson.
Here’s what everyone probably knows: Henry is an internationally acclaimed North American jazz and soul vocalist whose career was jump-started in 2004. Before that all she did was sing in school and in church. But her parents also introduced her to bands like the Commodores, the Spinners and Aretha Franklin. And then she literally too off. Today her repertoire also includes music from the Great American Songbook, classic and contemporary jazz titles blues and a lot more.
We are also aware that she is fond of fashion and that she is convinced that clothes may speak but the soul transcends whatever you wear. Moreover she carefully chooses her apparel before every show: she prefers feminine-looking clothes similar to what writers call “show-don’t-tell.” What you might not know is that Henry is a supporter of the Miami Children’s Initiative and member of its board, she sings to make a difference, she wants to make a better world by means of music.
The show stated at 4pm sharp. The Waterfront Park was packed. I was sitting on the grass, relaxed, looking around, just wandering. All of a sudden a woman dressed in blue appeared on stage. I knew it was Nicole Henry, and I was captivated by her shimmering aura. Before she began Henry presented the members of her quintet: Peter Wallace (piano), Eric England (upright bass), David Chiverton (drums) and Aaron Lebos (guitar). Soon came the first notes; the dream of the perfect evening began.
Jazz is said to be the music of improvisation and Henry did sing a recognisable set of songs, but she gave each one of them a different twist. Her charisma and soulful voice brought numerous notes to life. She also proved that she has real stage presence accompanying the songs with svelte, feminine moves, changing on a dime from an angel to a sensual mermaid. Still she stayed elegant throughout. You could tell that Henry was having a grand time singing as well as entertaining the audience; she had us all hypnotized by her voice and power. She struck me as being like a full sky in one soul, a flower, a cloud, a woman…yet a child.
Two years ago I read a book “One Billion Others “in which a Nigerian girl said “My childhood dream is to pass under a rainbow.” I found those words so inspiring, felt them and reflected upon them. I was that girl just as the Nigerian girl of the book and just as millions of girls around the world too as they also searched for the simple life: love, peace, joy.
At this concert entitled Sunday on the Waterfront performed by Nicole Henry, at the Meyer Amphitheatre, I could not help but believe that Henry made us all pass under that rainbow.
Read more about Nicole Henry here…
Story contributed by Maria Cabeza