This January marks the launch of Joe’s Pub at the Public’s Vanguard Residency, a new award and yearlong monthly series that celebrates the work and influence of an icon of American popular culture. The inaugural recipient of this award is Grammy Award-nominated, art- and funk-rock pioneer Nona Hendryx, who is honored for her career as a performer, producer, writer, curator and mentor. Hendryx dedicates the series to fearlessness, revolution (creative and cultural), freedom of expression and innovation; the things that have defined her own career.
Revolutionary art-rock, new-wave goddess Nona Hendryx is a celebrated vocalist, record producer, songwriter, musician and author, Ambassador of Artistry in Music for Berkelee College of Music. Tackling social issues, love and politics, Hendryx’s legendary career spans six decades of sound and style evolution. Longtime Nona Hendryx fans know her as one of the founding members of the ‘girl group’, Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles. In 1970, Patti, Sarah Dash and Nona morphed into the groundbreaking group Labelle, delivering a No.1 worldwide hit with ‘Lady Marmalade’ (Voulez Vous Coucher Avec Moi C’est Soir?)” In Parallel Lives, Hendryx lends the necessary gravitas to a striking rendition of Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit with a smoky vocal tessitura somewhere between funk and the end of the stratosphere.
A project of Joe’s Pub at The Public, the Vanguard Residency is an award and yearlong residency that celebrates the career of a singular artist who has contributed to American life and pop culture and is a part of the Joe’s Pub family of artists. This artist also sustains and leads their own artistic community while creating a body of work that stands apart from their peers. Additionally, the award answers to the music industry’s widening gaps in funding. Joe’s Pub offers a cash grant as well as a monthly performance series to be performed and curated by the artist.