Henri Smith was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, the birthplace of jazz; there he polished his sophisticated and dramatic vocal delivery. Then he took it on the road and thrilled audiences with his New Orleans jazz, blues, Creole and Cajun flavored music while touring the United States and Europe. For over 14 years Henri was a radio personality on the New Orleans jazz station WWOZ 90.7 FM. He frequently performed and served as the emcee at “The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival”, (the largest Jazz Fest in the world).
Henri Smith’s debut CD titled “Henri Smith New Orleans Friends & Flavours” was produced in New Orleans with an All-Star band of famous musicians.
Hurricane Katrina wiped out his home in New Orleans and he ended up moving north, to the seacoast of Cape Ann, where he now lives and shares his Creole and Cajun heritage with the kind people of New England. It is yet another stark reminder that from a city below sea level, that has seen so much tragedy and suffering since Hurricane Katrina, that the spirit of New Orleans will always prevail through the superb performance of Henri Smith, a true ambassador of the city of New Orleans!
Henri now tours at up-scale clubs, restaurants, lounges, theaters, hotels, and festivals all over New England and in New Orleans with his All-Star Jazz, Blues, Creole and Cajun Band called “Henri Smith New Orleans Friends & Flavours” (it’s named after his album).
While touring New England Henri Smith has shared the stage with the James Montgomery Blues Band, Roomful of Blues, Charles Neville (of the Neville Brothers), The Chris Fitz Band, the Hurricane Horns with Craig Rawring, Lisa Marie and All Shook, Grace Kelly, Stanton Davis Jr. and the Ghetto Mysticism Revival, River City Slim and the Zydeco Hogs, the Davis and Deleault Quartet, the Tony Gallo Band and others.
Henri’s back-up band is an ever-changing lineup of professional musician friends who appear as special guest performers, both live and on his recordings. They include: Amadee Castenell, Jr (saxophone & flute), Charles Neville (of the Neville Brothers, saxophone), Andrew Clark (saxophone, clarinet & flute), Christian Contreras (saxophone), Kermit Ruffins (vocals & trumpet), Stanton Davis, Jr. (trumpet & composer), Jerry Sabatini (trumpet), Patriq Moody (trumpet), Wendell Brunious (fluegel horn), Danny Heath (trombone & vocals), Anthony “Tuba Fats” Lacen (tuba), Frank Wilkins (piano), Thaddeus Richard (piano), Jason Marsalis (vibraphone), Herman Hampton (Berklee Associate Professor, bass), Dr. Nicholas White (bass), Roland Guerin (bass), Kevin Morris (bass), Rick Maida (bass), Tucker Linquist (blues harp & guitar), Tom Yates (guitar), Stanley C. Swann III (drums), David Hurst (drums), John Loud (drums), Jerry Anderson (drums), Andrew Jones (drums), Bill Summers (dongas), and many others who are very well versed in Henri’s unique style of music.
Henri also uses his powerful baritone voice to sing the national anthem for the Boston Celtics basketball team.
Henri Smith’s repertoire encompasses the cultural heritage of New Orleans flavored with jazz, blues, Creole, Cajun, funk, rhythm & blues, Calypso, Caribbean, Latin, and swing. Performing songs popularized by Louis Armstrong, Dr. John, Professor Longhair, Fats Domino, Paul Barbarin, Earl King, and Big Chief Donald Harrison.