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Avery Sunshine is a mercurial singer and composer who weds soul, gospel, jazz, and R&B in a signature mix. The singer has worked everywhere from Broadway to the Democratic National Convention to the European club and festival scenes. Sunshine's given name is Denise White. Though she lives in Atlanta, she originates from Chester, Pennsylvania, where she began her musical vocation by singing and playing piano in church. She attended Spellman College in Atlanta, where she started her musical apprenticeship on the city's R&B scene.
The first single to feature her vocals was "Stalk You," a house 12" issued only in Japan; it has since been remixed by numerous producers and is a staple of her live set. She also lent her voice to the soundtrack of The Fighting Temptations. In 2005, she was hired as the lead keyboardist for Tyler Perry's stage play Meet the Browns. In 2007, Grammy and Tony Award-winning vocalist Jennifer Holliday sought her out to become the choral director for the theatrical production of Dreamgirls during the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta. Sunshine came to national attention during four daily performances at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and was subsequently invited to sing at President Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009.
She released her self-titled debut album in 2010. It was co-produced by the artist with lyricist/guitarist/producer and musical partner Dana Johnson. The set, featuring the range of her singing skills, also included guest appearances by Roy Ayers and Christian McBride. The same year she played a principal role in Douglas Tappin's musical drama I Dream, directed by Jasmine Guy. After touring with B.B. King and Ledisi in 2011, Sunshine released Live at Union Chapel in 2012. She signed to Shanachie in 2013, and released her debut for the label, The Sun Room, in May of 2014. It was co-produced with Johnson and Jean Paul "Bluey" Maunick. The album hit number three on Billboard's Heatseekers chart, and also landed on the R&B and Hot 200 charts. In January 2016, Sunshine issued the groove-laden single "Come Do Nothing" in anticipation of the release of her next studio long-player, Twenty Sixty Four, which arrived later that April. ~ Thom Jurek
- Chester, PA
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