Nicole Henry's powerfully expressive, emotionally resonant voice has already earned her three international top-10 albums, the most recent being her 2008 release The Very Thought of You.
She's also won an international reputation as a beguiling live performer, enchanting audiences on multiple continents.
Growing up in a musical family in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Henry immersed herself in the arts early on, singing in school and church, and studying cello and ballet.
She balanced this with a deep love for the popular music that surrounded her, finding inspiration in the artistry of such performers as Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. Another source of inspiration was Henry's aunt, Debbie Henry, who sang in the soul/disco outfit, Silk.
A graduate of the University of Miami with a degree in communications and theatre, Henry got her first recording experience with dance music DJ/producer Noel Sanger.
After Miracle, a Sanger track featuring Henry, reached the Top 10 on Billboard's dance chart, she toured the United States with Sanger, which was followed by a stint with RCA recording artiste Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise.
Then, in 2001, Henry's magnetic personality and theatrical background helped her to launch a successful acting career, appearing in film and television roles as well as a series of commercials and voiceover assignments. But she continued to maintain focus on her budding singing career, winning a large regional following around South Florida with her live performances and being named 2002's Best Local Solo Musician by Miami New Times.
The same year, Henry had the opportunity to sing with a jazz trio for the first time, and immediately recognised the musical freedom and storytelling potential that jazz offered.
Henry's enthusiastic embrace of jazz accelerated her creative development, leading to the 2004 release of her debut CD, The Nearness of You, on her own Banister label.
That album won considerable attention from audiences and critics both in the US and in Japan, with HMV Japan naming Henry the Best New Jazz Artiste of 2004.
The album climbed to No 2 on HMV Japan's jazz chart and remained in the top 10 for three months. Back home, Henry won rave reviews and received significant airplay on jazz radio, and was the subject of features in Billboard, JazzTimes and Downbeat.
Her second album, Teach Me Tonight, on which she was backed by the Eddie Higgins Trio, reached No 1 in Japan and was named HMV Japan's Best Vocal Jazz Album of 2005.
Henry's 2008 album, The Very Thought of You, found her continuing to explore the Great American Songbook while broadening her repertoire to include original material and contemporary songs. The album substantially expanded her American audience, reaching No 7 on Billboard's jazz chart. Its international popularity spurred her to step up her performance schedule with successful tours of Japan (where she's toured nine times), Europe and Russia.
Henry also remained a favourite in New York City where she's made high-profile appearances at such prestigious venues as Lincoln Center's Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola and Feinstein's at the Regency. Throughout 2009 and 2010, her monthly performances in front of sold-out crowds at Chelsea's Metropolitan Room led to winning the 2010 BISTRO Award for Outstanding Jazz Vocalist.
Henry's prior achievements set the stage for the creative triumph of Embraceable, on which her successful stylistic departures mark her as an artiste whose appeal transcends genre boundaries.
Although she's already firmly established as one of the jazz world's most acclaimed and respected young vocalists, Nicole Henry's vibrant new album Embraceable makes it clear that she can't be categorised so simply.
"I consider myself a singer who loves singing jazz," the Miami Beach-based artiste explained.
"However, no matter the style or story, I'm always striving to be myself," she said.
"I've always sung pop, R&B, and inspirational music," she noted. "Even as I've focused on jazz over the past several years, I've still continued performing non-jazz material. It often seemed like I was living two musical lives, so I wanted to record an album that incorporated more of my overall musical personality," Henry said about Embraceable.