Tribe Jazz Orchestra
The Tribe Jazz Orchestra is an ensemble of musicians led by Lenora Helm Hammonds (p/k/a as Lenora Zenzalai Helm) with a unique approach to the music of the big band tradition. With a diverse amalgam of the top men and women performers in Jazz today, the instrumentation features a combination of jazz orchestra and modern chamber ensemble to bring a swinging and soulful concert full of groove and excitement covering many styles. In certain settings, subsets of the group perform under Lenora’s baton as Members of the Tribe Jazz Orchestra.
The members have performed together in various configurations and have appeared in noted concert halls and international music festivals in The United States, Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. Lenora and the Members of the Tribe Jazz Orchestra are internationally acclaimed concert performers. Lenora has six previous commercial recordings and has performed with some of the biggest names in Jazz leading her groups in renowned jazz festivals and venues worldwide, including Jazz Standard, NYC, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy Club Coca Cola Women’s Jazz Festival, Schomburg Center’s Women in Jazz Festival, JVC Jazz Festivals, Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, Cape Town Jazzathon, South Africa, Fiji Jazz & Blues Festival, NCCU Jazz Festival, and the Art of Cool Jazz Festival, Durham, NC.
Her creative practice includes being a performing musician while educating emerging artists in jazz as the Director of the NCCU Vocal Jazz Ensemble and Assistant Professor of Vocal Jazz at North Carolina Central University, and being sought after internationally for workshops, clinics and master classes. She plays a leadership role in creating communities of practice for teaching artists and producing forums where music performances and edutainment events serve families in local and regional communities. A former U.S. Jazz Ambassador, and a two-time Fulbright Senior Music Specialist, she earned dozens of music and leadership-in-music awards and international accolades, including being a MacDowell Composer Fellow and the first Black woman vocal musician selected as a Chamber Music America/New Works Doris Duke Composer. Their CD release, For the Love of Big Band, launched March 9, 2020, received critical acclaim, and reached the JazzWeek Top 50 list of recordings for 2020.
The next recording release will launch Spring 2023, Journeywoman, a recording of all original compositions. Learn more at www.LenoraHelm.com