Weekly Artist Spotlight: Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles

Cory Henry is the celebrated keyboard player of Grammy Award-winning jazz-fusion band Snarky Puppy and Aretha Franklin’s band. He will be returning to NYC’s own Irving Plaza for New Year’s Eve once again! Cory has brought in the new year at Irving Plaza with Snarky Puppy the last 2 years, but this year Cory will be leading the party with his very own band, The Funk Apostles.

The Funk Apostles is a collective that is poised to be a formidable force in pop culture performing original music in the style of James Brown, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire, and more. Henry pieced together The Funk Apostles’ lineup out of players he met on the road over the years, and each member of the band is an all-star in their own right. Guitarist Adam Agati, who co-wrote the album’s lyrics with Henry, has worked with everyone from Booker T. Jones to Ludacris, while bassist Sharay Reed has performed with Patti LaBelle, Chakha Khan, and more. Henry met drummer TaRon Lockett while he was playing with Snarky Puppy, but he’s performed with some of the biggest names in R&B including Erykah Badu, Montell Jordan, and Snoop Dogg, and keyboardist Nick Semrad’s credits include Miss Lauryn Hill and Bilal. Check out the band in action in this video from 2016 at Pickathon Festival!

A Brooklyn native, Henry won a pair of GRAMMY Awards for his work with Snarky Puppy since 2012, but Henry’s deft keyboard skills have been blowing minds around the world for more than two decades now. At six, he made his debut at Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theater, and at nineteen, he joined the touring band of jazz icon Kenny Garrett. Since then, he’s toured or recorded with everyone from Bruce Springsteen and The Roots to P. Diddy and Yolanda Adams in addition to cracking the Top 10 on Billboard’s Jazz charts with a pair of solo albums.

NPR called him “a master” and said his “musical charisma is a match for a nearly 400 pound organ,” while Keyboard Magazine dubbed his playing “soulful, church-y, playful, restrained, and virtuosic,” and The Boston Globe raved that “if anyone’s going to preach the gospel of the Hammond organ, it should be Cory Henry.”

“I want to make music that really means something,” he explains. “I think of the 60’s and 70’s as this golden era of music, and if you look at some of the top artists then like Curtis Mayfield and Stevie Wonder, they were singing about what was happening around them in this creative way that made people want to act. They used music as a tool to reach the world and bring about change to help make it a better place. I want to do that, too.”

It’s an ambitious goal, to be sure, but if there’s one thing this album proves, it’s that Cory Henry is up for the challenge.

Don’t miss out on your opportunity to spend New Year’s Eve with Cory Henry and The Funk Apostles, enter to win tickets here or purchase tickets here!

 

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