Bruce Henry “possesses a three and one-half octave range, a pure voice with versatility and depth that few can match” (CD Baby). Born in West Point, Mississippi, he moved to Chicago as a young child and was already singing in the family’s Baptist church by age 5. His pianist father immersed young Bruce in the music of Basie and Ellington. Although initially studying classical music at the Chicago Conservatory of Music, his love of improvisation led Henry to the music of Nina Simone, Al Jarreau, and John Coltrane. Absorbing eclectic styles of vocals and composition while touring the world, Bruce has garnered a large following in France and the Far East, and has been heard live on the BBC as well as on movie soundtracks. Over his career, Bruce has performed on such exotic and legendary international stages as the Malate in Manila, the Klezmer Festival in Israel, Le Bilboquet in Paris, the WhitBread in London, the Coconut Grove in Miami, the Waldorf Astoria in New York, and Grand Wailea in Maui.
A Minneapolis resident for over 30 years, Henry maintained a nonstop schedule of performing, recording, and teaching before his move back to Chicago. In addition to private lessons, his educational efforts include workshops on creativity, vocal performance and Afro-American musicology, including the inspirational workshop, “Evolution of African American Music.” He served on the faculty of McNally Smith College in St. Paul and as the Music Director for the Hands On Child Care Center for children age 5-16. He also served as the first President of the local chapter of the Jazz Vocal Coalition (later the Jazz Vocalists of Minnesota). Bruce has appeared frequently at local music venues, concert halls, and the Freedom Jazz Festival. He was the guest vocalist with the Ramsey Lewis band at Orchestra Hall and toured with Joe Vass’s The Soul of Gershwin project in 2009. In 2012, he performed a tribute to Marvin Gaye at the Hopkins Center for the Arts, other recent projects include tributes to Ellington and Gershwin, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, soul music, and “Afro-Blue.”