henry c. conerway, iii has been described as a ‘musician who caresses the music deep within his spirit as he searches for the pivotal technique to let it all out’ and that was when he was a young boy, participating in an elementary school music class in Detroit, after attending his first percussive instrument class at the age of four, and continuing an extraordinary journey into the moment that is now. The prequel spotlights his grandmother preparing his inheritance, the love for and the understanding of true jazz, in its heyday, as she absorbed jazz in Detroit's Paradise Valley and over on Hastings Street where jazz lived and saturated her free spirit, and her soul. Henry’s parents were a conduit for the legacy, his mother falling asleep every night to the sounds of Ella, Sara and Nancy to name a few. And his father, a brilliant classical violinist in his own right, yet forced to massage his love for jazz from afar. The rhythm, the syncopation, the creative exactness and the freedom of the flow were embedded in Henry’s mind, body and soul, before he took his first breath!
Willie McAllister, the consummate high school teacher and musician, introduced his students, including Henry to Montreaux Jazz stages and to Detroit’s great jazz musicians, one of which was the renowned, Marcus Belgraves. On his journey to NOW, Henry spent several years under Belgrave’s tutelage as a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Jazz Band and later as a young colleague and friend.
While matriculating at Morehouse College, Henry cofounded the group “Jaspects,” a group that quickly settled in as a staple of the Atlanta music scene. The group wrote, recorded and released four independent albums, booked their own tours, selling thousands of copies nationwide. Creative collaborations with the industries rising stars; Maroon 5's PJ Morton; Tyler Perry’s Tony Hightower, and equally talented beauties including; Chantae Cann and Janelle Monae can be heard on Jaspects’ recordings.
Henry has stablished a reputation as a stellar performer working with world class musicians including: Russell Gunn; Dionne Farris; Curtis Fuller; Fred Wesley; Grant Green, Jr. to name a few. Henry is fearlessly versatile, bursting with creatively styled energy that melts seamlessly into jazz standards and beyond. Henry has won numerous performance and composition awards throughout this awesome journey to now He is also passionately involved in the education of young musicians, having developed an innovative program for a non-profit agency and providing private lessons currently.
Henry is sincerely dedicated to preserving our preciously rich jazz history, while continuing to infuse the music with his passionate fresh youthful perspective. Henry recognizes the bridge that most assuredly must be created and maintained to introduce, awake and merge the cultural music of our youth with our historic prolific jazz.
Community service, including educational opportunities are staples in Henry’s journey to now. He has served as an Ambassador and instructor for How Big Is Your Dream? Foundation, a non-profit under the leadership of Henry’s mentor, Jorel “J-Fly” Flynn.
Henry’s accomplishments continue to expand; he has established himself as an entrepreneur; recording artist on numerous albums; consistent collaborator with Dwight Andrews, Freddy Cole and Scotty Barnhart; and an off-broadway theatre run of Bob Marley’s music…Henry Conerway III’s journey to now is a simplistic divergence of progressively demonstrative music perspectives molded from the creative distinctive energy, uniquely crafted from his ability to live in the moment, where life and music explosively happens.
Photographer: Tabia Lisenbee - Parker
Musician: Henry Conerway, III