Organ-ic music: Brooklynite plays the organ at funky free concert

Organ-ic music: Brooklynite plays the organ at funky free concert

He’s got the funk!

A Brooklyn native will bring the good news of the funky tunes to Prospect Park next week. Cory Henry and his band the Funk Apostles will open for Tank and the Bangas at the Bric Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival on June 20, with Henry singing and playing a church-style organ. The musician said he got his start tickling the keys when he was just a toddler, listening in on his mother’s choir rehearsal at Unity Temple in Bedford-Stuyvesant, he said.

“I happened to mimic some of the notes that the choir was singing on the piano. I started playing when I was three and began playing in the church when I was four,” Henry said.

Henry got his start with gospel music, but his music pulls from jazz, rock, R&B, and soul to create a musical style he calls “future funk.” His early exposure to gospel records had a powerful influence on the themes in his current music, said the artist.

“The main message behind my music is based on love and fun. When I used to play in church, I learned a lot from the gospel records that I was listening to. I began to make my own music that was separate from what I was listening to,” Henry said. “I now get to talk about things like love, which the world needs.”

The organ virtuoso previously played with the Brooklyn band Snarky Puppy, an instrumental jazz-pop orchestra that won a pair of Grammys in 2017. He broke with the group in 2018 to form Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles, and he has since discovered a whole new role and set of responsibilities, he said.

“I am doing so many things that I wasn’t doing in Snarky Puppy. Number one being I am the singer and front man for the Funk Apostles now,” Henry said. “Being a front man has been a huge learning experience.”

In addition to his duties as front man, Henry keeps busy with a host of different projects, including writing songs for a solo album, working with the organ trio New Revival Project, and recording a new album with the Funk Apostles that will be released this summer.

“My biggest challenge at the moment is putting myself on a deadline and getting these three separate projects finished,” Henry said.

Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles open for Tank and the Bangas at Prospect Park Band Shell (enter at Ninth Street and Prospect Park West in Park Slope, www.bricartsmedia.org/cb). June 20 at 7:30 p.m. Free.

Reach reporter Chandler Kidd at ckidd@schenpsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–2525. Follow her at twitter.com/ChanAnnKidd.