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Hailed by Jazziz magazine as the ”voice of her generation” and a “national treasure,” Chicago-born, Durham, North Carolina-based Dr. Lenora Zenzalai Helm is a jazz vocal musician, composer, lyricist, bandleader, and a dedicated educator at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). Helm encompasses all of the inventions and dimensions of jazz and the African Diaspora on her new recording, Journeywoman, featuring her Tribe Jazz Orchestra® Nonet. Helm’s new CD, her eighth as a leader, is a compelling 65-minute, multi-movement 12-track work, where she sings about the life of an allegorical woman named Journey, and her struggles with abuse, birth, death, self-definition and her victories through self-love, perseverance, and affirmation.
Tribe Jazz Orchestra® is an ensemble of musicians led by Lenora Zenzalai Helm with a unique approach to the music of the big band tradition.Their CD release, For the Love of Big Band, launched March 9, 2020, received critical acclaim, and despite the ravages on the music industry during the Global Pandemic, reached the JazzWeek Top 50 list of recordings for 2020. With a diverse amalgam of the top men and women performers in jazz today, the instrumentation features a combination of jazz orchestra and modern chamber ensemble to bring a swinging and soulful concert full of groove and excitement covering many styles.
Tribe Jazz Orchestra Nonet Personnel:
Lenora Zenzalai Helm, voice
Special Guest: GRAMMY Nominee Orrin Evans, pianist
Timothy Holley, cello
Baron Tymas, guitar
Natalie Boeyink, electric and acoustic bass
Thomas Taylor, drums
Al Strong, trumpet
Robert Trowers, trombone
Salome Serena Wiley, tenor saxophone and spoken word
Dexter Moses, alto and soprano saxophone and flute