Having regaled audiences in over 50 countries as featured headliner, principal performer or co-lead singer – including a 14 country tour of “Sophisticated Ladies” - Sonya Hensley is equally at ease singing jazz, R&B, Broadway, pop, Latin and blues – and has long been driven by her desire to keep expanding her horizons and bring a fresh twist to the world’s most beloved songs.
The Essential Sonya Hensley, the multi-talented performer’s long awaited, highly anticipated debut, finds the singer at a unique crossroads of past, present and future. In one sense, she pays homage to the Bessies, Billies and Ellas, who paved the way for her own success story, and all the legendary artists and musicians she has worked with over the years, including Les Paul, Lena Horne, Harry Belafonte, Gladys Knight, Jimmy Buffett and Ricky Martin. But the collection is more than a high-spirited, joyfully eclectic culmination of the many facets of her career.
Featuring 11 dynamic new arrangements of the works of great composers Sonya admires and the fiery Latin barnburner “C’est La Baby,” penned by the singer and keyboardist Marc Gumberg, The Essential Sonya Hensley opens an exciting new frontier for her as a recording artist.
“I feel like the album is a way of paying homage to and carrying on the extraordinary gifts and legacies of those who have inspired my musical journey,” says Sonya. “Les is gone, Lena is gone, as are many jazz composers and legendary critic Leonard Feather, who gifted me with the incredible blues tunes I have recorded here, ‘Evil Gal Blues’ and ‘Born on a Friday’, and some of the musicians who originally helped me on these tracks. I feel as though I am conveying the fact that I have put the time in on what has evolved into a wonderful career, finding my way through a lane with historical people I am humbled and proud to have worked with. To me, this record completes a whole era for me and fulfills a promise, allowing me now to move on to recording more of the original material I have been writing over the years.”