"Jenkins’ blend of unbridled emotion, rhythm and blues, soul, and local inspiration culminates into a mesmerizing and original sound." -Art Tatta, Enjoy CT Live
Singer-songwriter, Orice Jenkins' first love was Hip-Hop. His second love was Jazz. He identifies with soul music above all, but studies classical music. When he allows himself to make music without restrictions, the result strikes a chord in the hearts of all kinds of people and enables him to be on stage with musicians such as Stanley Jordan, Jane Monheit, Eddie Henderson, and Doug Wimbish, while earning comparisons to vocalists ranging from Gil Scott-Heron and Curtis Mayfield to Al Jarreau and Johnny Hartman. His debut recording was an EP of his first original songs entitled "Around the Piano" - recorded six years after most of its songs were written. Now in his early 20's, Orice's most recent album, Soar, branches out to neo-soul interpretations of jazz classics, jazz arrangements of songs written by public figures extending from James Weldon Johnson to Drake and Kanye West, and traditional covers of Stevie Wonder tunes and Great American Songbook masterpieces.
Orice was born into a culturally diverse community in the city of Hartford, Connecticut. He credits growing up in a Black Catholic church as the source of his love for unorthodox arrangements. His vast amount of influences, including Jamie Cullum, Alicia Keys, and Harry Connick, Jr., were inspired by the greats such as Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone, and Donny Hathaway; all artists that have achieved "pop" music success despite coming from a jazz or classical background. Most of Orice's inspirations are also exceptionally gifted at something other than singing and songwriting such as arranging, playing instruments, producing, and conducting. Orice has studied all of these crafts with educators like David Macbride, Larry Alan Smith, Nat Reeves, Ken Steen, Andy LaVerne and more at the prestigious Hartt School, alma mater to Steve Davis, Dionne Warwick, and Javier Colon. He has also studied voice with Shawnn Monteiro, Kevin Mahogany, Sheila Jordan, and other respected jazz vocalists.
Orice's music has been a hometown favorite in venues such as Bushnell Theater, the Connecticut Convention Center, Bushnell Park, the Mark Twain House, and Black Eyed Sally's. He has also been welcomed to sing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Dizzy's Club Coca Cola, Birdland Jazz Club, and Mezzrow, all in New York. The versatile musician worked for five years as a pianist for Goodspeed Opera House and currently is the musical director for R&B veteran, Kenny Hamber and Gospel group, VOICES LLC. In addition to being a recording artist and bandleader, Orice teaches for the Youth Arts Institute at Charter Oak Cultural Center. He also performs an educational presentation on the life and music of Nat "King" Cole as an expression of interest in jazz tradition and African-American history that began while creating Soar.