Kendra Ross is a gifted singer and performer who has built an impressive career playing to her strengths in an effort to stand out from the crowd. With her uniquely rich contralto vocal stylings and impressive songwriting talent, she is an artist in high demand.
Kendra Ross, vocals
Big Yuki, keys
Christian Ver Halen, guitar
Nate Jones, bass
Shaun Kelly, drums
Frances Elizée, vocals
Khadijah Carter, vocals
A proud Pittsburgh native who currently resides in Brooklyn, Ross launched her professional career as a theater singer and actress starring in a national tour of the Broadway smash hit Smokey Joe's Café, along with Rita Coolidge and Gary "U.S." Bonds. She has since become an accomplished solo artist, appearing at legendary venues like the Blue Note and Highline Ballroom in New York City, the Arena Theater in Houston, and the Jazz Café in London. She has opened for many world-renowned artists, including Babyface, Isaac Hayes, Ryan Shaw, and Lalah Hathaway, and she was one of a handful of soul artists invited to showcase at the 2009 SXSW Music Festival.
Ross is a sought-after session vocalist, having lent her talents to several major label recordings, including "Ironside" from Quincy Jones's 2010 release Q: Soul Bossa Nostra, as well as "Won't You Stay" and the Kanye West-produced hit "Get By," both from Talib Kweli's gold-selling album Quality (2002). Her songwriting skills are also featured on Kweli's second solo LP, The Beautiful Struggle (2004), on a track featuring Faith Evans called "We Know." She is currently featured as a vocalist and writer on Kweli's recent release Gutter Rainbows (2011).
Ross, who sites Sarah Vaughan, Phyllis Hyman, Donnie Hathaway, Joni Mitchell, Mary J. Blige, and Lewis Taylor as some of her greatest musical influences, released her debut album, New Voice, in 2007. The critically acclaimed project, co-produced with longtime collaborator, music director, and guitarist Christian Ver Halen, is comprised of all original compositions. In addition to appearances by hip-hop luminary Talib Kweli and soul sensation Eric Roberson, the disc features many of the best touring and session musicians on the music scene today.
Fully aware of the iconic legacy associated with her last name by a triple threat performer whom she has admired since childhood, Ross is set to garner her own respect and attention.