Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Jeff Hendrick has had a varied career performing classical, jazz and pop music, but it was his foray into soul music that has brought the most attention and has kept his career on the rise for the better part of a decade.
Born in rural Alberta, Canada, Hendrick was influenced by the pop and soul stars of the 80s, including Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Prince, and Michael Jackson. He learned piano at an early age, performing classical and jazz music and winning numerous performance awards. He also developed as a saxophone player and a vocalist. After graduating from McGill University in Montreal with a Jazz Performance Degree, Hendrick returned to Edmonton to pursue a musical career.
He began his post-college work with local Latin funk band Maracujah!, but Hendrick soon created his own band and gained a local reputation playing soul and pop sets. He was nominated in 1998 for an Alberta Recording Industry Award in the Soul/Rhythm and Blues category, and gained a strong following for his live performances throughout Canada. In 1999, Hendrick briefly moved to Los Angeles, where he worked with artists such as Brian McKnight and All 4 One before returning to Edmonton. His debut album, Bout Time, was finally released in 2002 and received attention in both Canada and Europe.
Hendrick released his second CD, Soul Celebration, in late 2005, and the disc began an 18-month ascent. It hit #1 on several European and Canadian soul charts in early 2006 and landed on the SoulTracks charts that Summer. Then, in the Fall of 2006 Hendrick was a guest on syndicated radio host Michael Baisden's show, and his single "Old School Party" became an unofficial anthem for the show, giving the album a huge boost more than a year after its release.
by Chris Rizik