“Soar is a great debut by Orice Jenkins, and I recommend it highly, hopefully being the first of many discs by this young man to come. It’s indeed an intimate sounding project that caresses your mind and soul and takes you on a warm, musical journey.” Pianist, Composer, Producer, Onaje Allan Gumbs
“Jenkins’ blend of unbridled emotion, rhythm and blues, soul, and local inspiration culminates into a mesmerizing and original sound.” Art Tatta, Enjoy CT Live
On his first full-length recording as a leader, Orice Jenkins expresses his extraordinary vision and introduces listeners to his all-inclusive style of performing music.
Jenkins is a gifted artist with rhythmical and lyrical instincts that belie his youth, as evidenced by the diverse repertoire, which includes refreshing interpretations of the Negro National Anthem, Lift Every Voice And Sing; Stevie Wonder’s Golden Lady; Drake’s Find Your Love; the smooth ballad, I Only Have Eyes for You, inspired by the Flamingos and the Fugees; a revitalized version of the 1926 tune, Bye Bye Blackbird, featuring Erica Bryan and Tang Sauce; and four original compositions – Birds Soar, Anatolian Sunset, My Heart and But It’s Not Me.
Many of the songs draw inspiration from the Civil Rights Movement and the injustices and plights of people of color. However, Jenkins’ lyrics strive to inspire and uplift the spirit. Tunes such as Lift Every Voice, Birds Soar, and East of the Sun employ the theme of birds soaring, which symbolize the act of breaking free from oppression and realizing one’s full potential.
Edward LaRose’s stunning cover art depicts Jenkins against the Hartford, Connecticut skyline, where he grew up in the culturally diverse community, where he attended a Black Catholic Church and developed a penchant for unorthodox arrangements.
Jenkins started out as a hip-hop artist but fell in love with Soul music and later jazz, after attending a Zaccai Curtis Master Class. His musical influences include Jamie Cullum, Esperanza Spalding, Alicia Keys, Harry Connick Jr., Nat King Cole, Nina Simone, and Donny Hathaway, among others; all gifted singer-songwriters who achieved widespread success despite their classical and jazz backgrounds.
He has performed with Steve Davis, Eddie Henderson, Stanley Jordan, Josh Evans and Jane Monheit among others.
Jenkins’ music has been featured at the Bushnell Theater, the Connecticut Convention Center, Bushnell Park, the Mark Twain House and the Wadsworth Atheneum. He has sung at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and the legendary Birdland Jazz Club in New York. His album highlights his working band, many of them musicians and friends he graduated or studied with at the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at The Hartt School.
Soar is an incredible blend of genres performed with style, charisma, and a social conscience, a fusion of styles that takes the listener on a journey through various styles of music, including Afro-Cuban, Swing, Soul, Hip-Hop, Cool Jazz, Hard Bop and Washington-based Go Go.
“A piece of my soul is ingrained within the 3,209 seconds of sound waves that make up SOAR,” says Jenkins, “I hope that it helps each of my listeners find their wings.”
Tracks: But It’s Not Me, When I Fall in Love (Interlude), East of the Sun, My Heart, Anatolian Sunset, Lift Every Voice and Sing, Find Your Love, Golden Lady, Bye Bye Blackbird, I Only Have Eyes For You, Body and Soul, Birds Soar.
Personnel: Orice Jenkins – vocals, Wurlitzer organ, producer, executive producer, arrangements, songwriting, mixing, Warren Amerman – engineer, mixing, mastering, flute (track 11), Nelson Bello – congas, shaker (tracks 3 and 11), Chad Browne-Springer – background vocals (tracks 3 and 12), featured artist (track 10), Erica Bryan – background vocals (tracks 3 and 12), featured artist (track 4), Mike Carabello – Fender Rhodes (tracks 1-4, 9-12), Nathan Davis – trombone (tracks 1-2, 4, 7, 10-12), Matt Dwonszyk – acoustic bass (2, 5-7, 9, 11), Edward LaRose – artwork, photography, graphic design, Dan Liparini – guitar (1-4, 7-12), Michael Pallas – trombone (tracks 1-2, 4, 9-12), Jocelyn Pleasant – drums (tracks 1-4, 6-12), Tom Sullivan – electric bass (1, 3-4, 8, 10, 12). Featured Artists: Tang Sauce (track 4), Rodney Tenor (track 12)