Branice McKenzie’s career includes everything from jazz to theater to prolific songwriting. Some of her credits include critically acclaimed performances at the Newport Jazz Festival and The Umbria Jazz Festival. On the theatrical stage she has created roles in “Shades Of Harlem”, “Sing Sister Sing”, “Jazz Alley” and “I Can’t Stop loving You”: The Music of Ray Charles. As a composer and music director, she has penned music for “Shelter”, “Shades Of Harlem” and “Blackbirds Of Courage” as well as her latest work, “This World Is Mine: A Musical Revue for Children”. She is a recipient of the Meet The Composer grant from New York State and also made her directorial debut with the World Premier of the family musical “Celebrate Kwanzaa” at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Branice has also just completed a song for the film short, Gentelle’s Wings entitled, I Fly, which is the title song of her recently released CD.
Ms. McKenzie attended the Shanghai International Experimental Theatre Arts Festival as Associate Director with the Tracy Performing Arts Foundation for the play, “At The Playground”, which won a coveted place in the festival.
Her incredible four-octave voice and magnificent song stylings have been hailed throughout the world. She has toured with Harry Belafonte
Gregory Hines, Roberta Flack, Hugh Masekela, Carly Simon, BeBe Winans, Dianne Reeves, Peggy Lee, Ledisi and Miriam Makeba to name a few and is performing all over the United States, Europe, Africa and Asia.
Ms. McKenzie was invited to Russia to perform at Moscow’s premier jazz club, Le Club and with Jazz Symphonic Strings at the historic Tchaikovsky Hall. She also was the conductor of the Youth Chorale for the West Coast premier of INDABA written by and performed with Sweet Honey In The Rock.
Most recently Branice was invited to co-host the premier event of the season, Oprah Celebrates Susan Taylor – 37 Years at Essence magazine.
She then moved as a guest artist - comedienne, actor, storyteller, vocalist and composer at the Smithsonian’s 43rd Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C.
She can be heard on numerous jingles and recordings including Hugh Masekela’s “Uptownship” singing the heralded single, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”, Grammy- nominated “Loves Drum Passion” by Olatunji and the single “Maybe Next Year” with Onaje Allan Gumbs on his latest CD, “Remember Their Innocence”.
As a composer, Branice McKenzie spreads her wings across many music genres and sentiments. Her recordings represent her magnificent artistic vista and are consistently sought after by artists. workshop facilitators, activists and speakers to be used to inform, transform and inspire. Branice McKenzie is her self-titled Jazz CD that includes Sing Sister Sing which has become an anthem for women everywhere and it was recently presented at a Conference on Domestic Violence for support and encouragement. Music Is is her recording of inspirational compositions.
And Ms. McKenzie’s CD, I Am Me : Melodies, Lyrics & Lessons for Children, was released to rave reviews from children of all ages!
Her composition, “Sing Sing Sing”, was chosen as the second-grade song in McGraw-Hill’s music textbook, Spotlight On Music.
And Branice’s fourth CD, I Fly, is transformative, inspiring and life-changing.
Her compositions have become anthems as well as acting as a healing balm for many. Her next release, The New Standard, is her most recent work in progress.
Branice McKenzie is founding Minister of Music at Heart And Soul Center of Light
in Oakland, CA and a member of the Vocal Faculty at Oakland School For The Arts which carries the honor of a California Distinguished School and at St. Paul’s Episcopal School as Sixth Grade Choir Director.
Ms. McKenzie holds a B.A. in Psychology, Brown University and an M.A. in Music Education, New York University.
Management: Suzanne Hilleary email@example.com 845.626.2237
On another strong performance, “Maybe Next Year”, is Branice McKenzie with a sensitivity, intonation and eloquence that mark her as a fine exponent of jazz in song.
“ I have not only enjoyed her talent, I have been inspired by it.”
Harry Belafonte Then suddenly vocalist Branice McKenzie interrupts the silence with the song "Maybe Next Year", makes me smile and think about Sarah Vaughn ... www.soul-patrol.com Branice McKenzie
“With her voice and her way, Branice McKenzie interprets, communicates and entertains – holding
Gregory Hines *
“A singer … I hope to be hearing much more of…” Michael Bourne, WBGO Jazz and Public Radio
“Sharing an artistic experience with others is part of the joy of art. When someone with a gift of talent like
Branice McKenzie becomes one
of those experiences, it becomes the reaffirmation of the goodness of art as an instrument of love and communication. I have not only enjoyed her talent, I have been inspired by it.”
"Branice McKenzie doesn't just sing, she makes music...... music that is refreshing, engaging, and necessary! Her voice is true and unblemished. The entire CD (Branice McKenzie )…. is a breath of musical fresh air."
Carol Bristol-Henry, Artistic Director Compton Dance Theatre Foundation