Lily Henley is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer who has brought her melodically rich songwriting style and synergistic exploration of Sephardi and American folk traditions to audiences across the United States and abroad. She has performed solo, with her own band, and alongside numerous artists including clarinet virtuoso David Krakauer, fiddler Brittany Haas, Grammy-nominees Rushad Eggleston and Canadian folk group The Duhks, as well as Irish guitar phenom John Doyle, and in video collaborations with the Emmy-nominated Shanghai Restoration Project.
Lily's 2012 debut record, “Words Like Yours” draws on her background in American, Celtic, and Sephardic folk traditions, as well as experiences from an unconventional childhood spent moving regularly with her family to more than a dozen locations across the US and abroad. The album was produced by Jazz composer and bass phenom Omer Avital in English, Judeo-Spanish, and Hebrew. Her subsequent 2016 EP "To Show, To Shine" features five folk inflected Indie-pop collaborations with Brooklyn-based songwriter Jake Sherman, including single "Icarus" featuring a music video which premiered at the Festival of Dance Film in Berlin.
In 2017 Lily founded the Folk Fights Back collective, along with Nashville-based musicians Rachel Baiman and Kaitlyn Raitz. Together they facilitated dozens of Folk music concerts in a dozen US, Canadian and European cities, raising funds in support of direct-action community organizations working on environmental litigation, immigrant rights, women's issues, LGBTQ+ rights, and racial justice. Lily produced five concerts in New York City featuring musicians including members of Lake Street Dive, The Mariachi Academy of New York, The Klezmatics, and the Colbert Late Show house band.
Lily has written for Americana journal No Depression and been featured as a performer on NY Times columnist Randy Cohen's 'Person Place Thing' public radio show alongside guests including actresses Julianne Moore and Danai Gurira. She has been featured at venues including the Festival des Cultures Juives in Paris, the Caramoor American Roots Music Festival, the Transylvania Jazz Festival, the New York Sephardic Music Festival, and at Carnegie Hall.
Lily's upcoming album “Oras Dezaoradas” is a collection of brand new Judeo-Spanish Folk Songs highlighting feminine perspectives on transience, heartbreak and autonomy. The album will be released May 6th on Lior Editions Paris.
Lily was recognized as a 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow Finalist in Music/Sound from The New York Foundation for the Arts, as a 2020 New Jewish Culture Fellow, and a 2021 Fulbright award winner. Lily is currently an Artist-in-Residence at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris, France.
"Meticulously melismatic, otherworldly..."
-New York Music Daily
"What a beautiful voice - superb!"
- BBC Radio
“Soothing, frenzied, sacred and profane all at once…electrically imagined but acoustically delivered.”