Looking to jazz up the old burg

Ali Henry provided the vocals and Eric Tompkins took care of the guitar work during a recent Friday night show at Cafe Voltaire. - Allan WISHART/Free Press
Ali Henry provided the vocals and Eric Tompkins took care of the guitar work during a recent Friday night show at Cafe Voltaire.
— image credit: Allan WISHART/Free Press

She has songs in her heart and jazz tunes that she wants Prince George audiences to hear.

Ali Henry is a formally trained jazz vocalist who mixes it up with traditional and timeless jazz, Blues and Bossa Nova standards to create a fusion of melodic creativity with a chic, classy and progressive sound. Learning lyrics in different languages come easily to her as a biologist and vocalist.

Henry has carved out a musical niche for herself locally and she hopes that her unique song stylings will bring back jazz to the city.

“I work at this full time so I really put myself into it. A lot of jazz musicians have left the city [for example Maureen Washington who lives in Victoria] and I want to bring back that 1930s kind of vibe in Prince George,” Henry told the Free Press Tuesday. “I’ve recently formed a duo with Eric Tompkins and we’ll be performing jazz music at The Twisted Cork every Thursday.”

Her website describes her style:

“Music, etched upon her soul, is used as her primary form of expression, emotional translation and perception. Exposed vulnerability, oneness with the music and correctedness to self, delivers not only sound to an audience but the opportunity for others to receive and tune into new frequencies of energy and endless possibility concerning inner realization.

In 2011, the artist teamed up with pianist Neville Bowman and double bass player Bernie Addington in Kelowna to record an album with jazz standards called On My Mind which is available on iTunes.

Henry lives with her husband, a biology professor at UNBC, and the couple’s toddler and, while it’s a busy life, the singer songwriter wouldn’t have it any other way. She plans to tour western Canada in the future and perhaps move to Shanghai, China.

“I’m already working on my new album which will have some of my original songs on it and will be out in 2013. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Starting Nov. 29 newly formed jazz duo with guitarist Eric Tompkins and Ali Henry will be at the Twisted Cork every Thursday from 7 to 10 p.m.


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