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Nicole Henry as Alpha Smith

Nicole Henry as Alpha Smith

 

 





Introduction to Nicole Henry.  1:12 min.  Interview:  Raymond Elman.  Editing & Production: Mayelin Jimenez.  Recorded via Zoom:  7/30/2020, Miami.

 

NICOLE HENRY is an award-winning American Jazz singer. Since her debut in 2004, she has been one of the jazz world’s most acclaimed vocalists, possessing a potent combination of dynamic vocal abilities, impeccable phrasing, and powerful emotional resonance.

Henry has earned a Soul Train Award for “Best Traditional Jazz Performance” and three Top-10 U.S. Billboard and HMV Japan jazz albums. She has been heralded by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Japan Times, El Pais, Jazz Times, Essence and more. Henry tells real stories through interpretations of repertoire from the American Songbook, classic and contemporary jazz, popular standards, blues and originals.

She has captivated audiences in over 20 countries and performed in more than 30 music festivals worldwide and in some of the world’s most famous venues including Blue Note; Jazz at Lincoln Center; Blues Alley; Arsht Center; Feinstein’s; Green Mill; Jazz St. Louis; Madrid Jazz Festival; the Regattabar; and Catalina Jazz.  This year, she will perform in the new musical “A Wonderful World,” the story of Louis Armstrong, debuting at the Colony Theatre in Miami Beach, FL.

The videos below are organized by topic and run between 30 seconds and 5 minutes. Click on any video. You must be connected to the Internet to view the videos.

 

 

SERENDIPITY: 0:20 sec.





What is the earliest memory you have of attending a play?

 

CREATIVE FLEXIBILITY:   1:34 min.





Once you began your professional singing career, did you always have a plan for expanding into acting?

 

SEIZES OPPORTUNITIES:  3:32 min.





How did the opportunity to participate in the musical play “A Wonderful World” appear on your doorstep?

 

DEVELOP A VOICE:  3:49 min.





Describe the structure of “A Wonderful World” and how you developed your character, Alpha Smith.

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION:  2:15 min.





I have been aware of Louis Armstrong my whole life, but the play offers many stories that I didn’t know. Were there any surprises for you in the Louis Armstrong story?

 

DEVELOP A VOICE:  2:14 min.





Given that you haven’t had a lot of acting experience, what sorts of things did you want to work on to develop your acting skills?

 

COLLABORATION: 1:58 min.





Since you were a “late” casting choice, and since you have less acting experience than other leading cast members, how well were you received?

 

UNDERSTANDS THE AUDIENCE’S PERSPECTIVE:   1:08 min.





For the past decade you have been performing alone in front of a band. In the play you are a member of an ensemble. Did that require a change in mindset?

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION:  1:02 min.





Talk about the music and song selection.

 

EXPOSURE TO BROAD INFLUENCES:  1:00 min.





Who are some of your role models and influences?

 

UNDERSTANDS THE AUDIENCE’S PERSPECTIVE:  1:41 min.





How do you think the Louis Armstrong story will resonate with contemporary audiences?

 

CRITICAL THINKING:  6:43 min.





I was originally surprised by how many of my African-American students, who grew up in Miami, were totally unaware of the Historic Hampton House, arguably the most important nexus in African-American history. Now I wonder if it’s a generational issue, and if millennials simply aren’t aware of history before the 1980s.