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Cory Henry

One of the finest Hammond B-3 organ players of his generation, Cory Henry is also a respected bandleader and producer as well as an in-demand sideman. He started off as a child prodigy, playing both instruments by the time he was two years old, making his debut at the legendary Apollo Theater at age six. He has since worked in the studio and toured with countless artists, including Yolanda Adams, Stanley Brown, Israel Houghton, P. Diddy, Kirk Franklin, Kenny Garrett (the 19-year-old Henry became a fixture in Garrett's touring band for three years), Donnie McClurkin, Boyz II Men, Michael McDonald, Bruce Springsteen, the Roots, and many others. Falling closer to the Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson side of the Hammond organ jazz genre than Jimmy Smith, with maybe a little Billy Preston tossed in, Henry combines the best of both gospel and jazz in his playing. His albums as a bandleader include the 2010 holiday set Christmas with You, 2011's Leave You Alone, and 2012's Gotcha Now Doc. Since 2012, Henry has been a member of the acclaimed experimental jazz and funk ensemble Snarky Puppy, with whom he won a 2014 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance and a 2015 Grammy for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album. In 2016, Henry released the gospel-infused solo effort The Revival. Two years later, Henry left Snarky Puppy, moved to California, and launched a solo career with the independent project, Art of Love in July, and a month later, followed with the digital-only Art of Love (Live in L.A.). In October 2020, during the first real break in the COVID-19 pandemic, Henry released Something to Say, a varied studio effort that featured the Funk Apostles on four songs, with the remainder recorded with studio players Henry could safely bring into the studio. A reissue of Christmas with You appeared in December. In September 2021, Henry released Best of Me, on which he sang lead, played Hammond B-3, synth, and the Harpejji. According to Henry, the diverse album showcased songs inspired by musical heroes ranging from Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, and P-Funk. He stayed true to those '70s influences on 2022's self-revealing Operation Funk. Released in July, it added muscle and groove to Henry's R&B chops. Two weeks later he issued the digital outing Operation Funk (Live) with the Funk Apostles and guests Kamasi Washington on saxophone and guitarist Eric Gales. In September, Henry posted to Twitter that he would be leaving the music industry in the near future in order to focus on music-making for personal edification rather than monetization. In May 2023, Live at the Piano was a showcase for Henry playing his own compositions. In February 2024, Henry released the 23-track Church, that included guests, from his late mother Marie on the opener "Amazing Grace," his grandmother Dr. Janice McDonald, and gospel star Kierra Sheard. There are also appearances by Raphael Saadiq, the Tone3s, Robert Randolph, Charlie Bereal, Donnie McClurkin, John P. Kee, Kim Burrell, and two posthumous appearances by the late Bishop Carlton Pearson.
© Steve Leggett & Thom Jurek /TiVo


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