Lauren Henderson is a jazz and Latin jazz vocalist, recording artist, and composer from Massachusetts. Henderson's Caribbean and Latin Heritage are central themes in her original music and performance. Currently based in both Miami and New York, Lauren performs standards and original music at various national and international venues and has toured the United States, Russia, Italy, Spain, Mexico and various countries.
Henderson's eclectic vocal influences spread across genres. Her Afro-Latin influence aids her in producing a distinct yet versatile sound. Lauren's diverse musical background is rooted in jazz and has been influenced by artists like Shirley Horn, Nancy Wilson, Anita O’Day, Chris Connor, Julie London, Sarah Vaughan, Astrud Gilberto, Omara Portuondo, and many others.
In 1993, Lauren began to study piano. She grew up singing in church and school choirs, as well as listening to jazz records from her parent’s, and grandparent’s collections. Timid as a young musician, she was always reluctant to sing solos, until given a gentle push by mentors shortly before heading to Wheaton College (MA) to receive her Bachelor of Arts. At Wheaton, she discovered her voice, becoming the Musical Director of her singing group, a member of Jazz Band, studying classical voice and musical theatre, as well as finding inspiration in her professors and master classes with artists like Paquito D’Rivera and Take6.
Having earned college degrees in both Music and Hispanic Studies, Lauren continues to combine her love of music and culture. While living in Puebla, México she studied the traditional music of the Yucatán and popular music throughout the country at Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla. Through her international piano and voice studies, she worked on developing her musicianship. In Córdoba, España she studied flamenco and its similarities to jazz at La Universidad de Córdoba. An avid nuevo-flamenco listener, Lauren often quotes popular sounds of various countries while nurturing the roots of classic forms.
In 2011 she released her debut album, Lauren Henderson. It was recorded almost immediately upon her arrival in New York. Henderson recorded with close friend, Sullivan Fortner (piano), Ben Leifer (bass), and Jesse Simpson (drums). The original intent was to create a demo to aid in her pursuit of a career in New York’s competitive jazz scene.
The quartet recorded classics by Duke Ellington, Hoagy Carmichael, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Rogers and Hart. After the work was shared with colleagues and fellow musicians, it was reviewed by various publications, including DownBeat Magazine, JazzTimes and All About Jazz. It is available on iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, and is accessible as a Pandora.com station.
She has had the opportunity to study with legendary and influential musicians like Barry Harris at the Barry Harris Workshop. A long time fan, Lauren has had the opportunity to study and sing with Grammy Nominated Vocalist, Jane Monheit, and pianist, Michael Kanan.
Her new recording, A La Madrugada, features Sullivan Fortner on piano (Impulse - Universal Music Group Artist, member of the Roy Hargrove Quintet and Winner of the Cole Porter American Pianist Association 2015 Jazz Competition), Ameen Saleem on bass (Recording Artist and Member of the Roy Hargrove Quintet), Louis Fouche on alto saxophone (Member of Eddie Palmieri Afro-Carribean Sextet, Recording Artist and collaborator with Christian Scott), Jonathan Powell on trumpet (Member of Eddie Palmieri Afro-Carribean Sextet, Arturo O'Farrill's band and Grammy-Winning Record, and voted "Best Latin Jazz Trumpeter" 2009 by Latin Jazz Corner), Riley Mulherkar on trumpet (Member of Julliard, named "Rising Jazz Artist" by Wynton Marsalis), and Jeremy Bean Clemmons on drums and percussion (Award Winning Producer and prior member of Grammy Nominated, Andy Bey's Quartet, Member of Soul Understated). The recording has been featured and reviewed in various publications. It is available on iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, Spotify and various online outlets. A La Madrugada has landed in the JazzWeek Top 100 for over 3 weeks.
In 2016, Henderson plans to release an album under the direction of Grammy-Nominated Producer and Emmy-Winner, Mark Ruffin! This album will feature Josh Evans, Godwin Louis, Sullivan Fortner, Eric Wheeler, Nick Tanner, Nanny Assis, and Joe Saylor. Stay tuned,,,