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" which premiered at the POOL Festival of Dance Film in an official music video by videographer and movement artist Shiran Eliaserov.
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 across the US and abroad raising funds in support of direct-action community organizations working on issues of 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 Paris Festival of Jewish Culture, the Caramoor American Roots Music Festival, the Transylvania Jazz Festival, the New York Sephardic Music Festival, and at Carnegie Hall.
Lily has two upcoming albums, “Imperfect By Design”, an Indie Folk anthology about love, belonging, independence, and change, and “Oras Dezaoradas”, a collection of brand new Judeo-Spanish Folk Songs highlighting feminine perspectives on transience, heartbreak and autonomy. Lily was recognized as a 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow Finalist in Music/Sound from The New York Foundation for the Arts and is a 2020 New Jewish Culture Fellow.
"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.”