For Capathia Jenkins, it all began when she was about 8 years old.
“That’s when my third-grade music teacher told my mother I had talent and that she ought to nurture it by giving me voice lessons,” Jenkins remembers.
And her mother did just that, says the Brooklyn-born and bred vocalist. By high school, Jenkins was studying the classics, singing French, Italian and German arias. And after high school she was off to Temple University for a jazz vocal program.
“I always knew I wanted to sing,” Jenkins says. “I just didn’t know that my life would be musical theater on Broadway. And now, the last ten years or so, with symphony orchestras around the world. It’s all sort of like a dream I didn’t know I had. It was just my dream to sing.”
Jenkins made her Broadway debut in “The Cvil War,” where she created the role of Harriet Jackson.
She then starred in the Off-Broadway revival of “Godspell,” and then returned to ‘Broadway in “The Look of Love.”
Some other roles included off-Broadway’s “The Hattie McDaniel Story” for which she received a Drama Desk Award nomination.
Jenkins has also appeared on television, including “30 Rock,” “The Sopranos,“ “Law and Order,” and others.
And now, she’s preparing to do “Aretha: Respect,” Feb. 14-16 at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Performing with three-time Grammy-nominated artist Ryan Shaw, the show will also feature the 70-piece Philly Pops orchestra. It is also being conducted by Byron Stripling.
“I think my first love is the actual act of singing,” Jenkins says. “But with my life and work experience I find that everything starts with the lyrics. So I think my acting life has helped me get my songs across. But for me, there’s nothing like performing in front of a live audience. It’s absolutely exciting and thrilling.”
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