Kendra Foster was born in Tallahassee, FL where she decided to attend college at Florida A&M University. Like many, she started singing in church during her adolescence, but her career began while at F. A. M. U.
While still a freshman at F. A. M. U., Kendra met Whitney Russell, trumpet/keys player, after “sittin’ in” with his jazz combo at a local coffeehouse. Kendra had already developed an interest in jazz in high-school, learning jazz standards and studying Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Nancy Wilson, and Ella Fitzgerald. After hearing Kendra sing, Whitney immediately made her his protégé. He simultaneously introduced her to his cohort, Michael Patterson, primarily an amazing funk musician. Mike P (as he is better known) invited Kendra to join his band, Smoke, performing their originals and Parliament/Funkadelic covers (Mike being a P-Funk fanatic). Also, with an 11-year background in ballet, Kendra had already began her schooling becoming a member of Orchesis Contemporary Dance Theatre at F.A.M.U. and took part in the Urban Bush Women Institute learning and performing mostly African diasporic dances and modern technique. Subsequent to Smoke, mentor, Whitney Russell, formed the fusion-styled group, Fish -N- Grits, and made Kendra the lead vocalist.
As Fish -N- Grits gained more local acclaim and Smoke began their hiatus, Kendra decided to change her major from Math/Chemistry to Jazz Studies/Commercial Music and joined F.A.M.U. ‘s Jazz Big Band. Meanwhile, Mike P discovered that George Clinton, mastermind behind Parliament/Funkadelic, established a studio in Tallahassee, FL and acquired an engineering job there.
Though they gained much local notoriety, Fish -N- Grits disbanded. Meanwhile, Mike P was working more regularly at George Clinton’s studio, and decided to bring Kendra into the fold. Kendra began recording at the studio minimally, making herself available for any possibility of music making–often between classes and work, wading through homework while waiting on an opportunity to “grace the mic”. In parallel motion, she met outstanding musicians in the music department at school, such as Luna and Robin Rouge of Lotus Love, Saunders Sermons, John Toney, Rashada Dawan, Jeremy Mills, Corey Irvin, George Walton and Marquez Adams (R.I.P.) and formed a band named Concept. With numerous gigs and a flood of school work, Kendra was still creating music in George Clinton’s studio every chance given.
After 1-2 years, the substantial amount of material Kendra recorded finally caught Clinton’s attention, and he signed her to a production deal and asked her to join Parliament/Funkadelic on the road. Leaving school and Tallahassee behind, she continued the creation of her album, “Myriadmorphonicbiocorpomelodicrealityshapeshifter”, and joined the legacy of Parliament/Funkadelic.
On the road, she befriended and began to work very closely with Sativa (Shonda Clinton) and they created Children of Production along with the other younger members of PFunk–Danny Bedrosian, Rico Lewis, New Jeruz (Jason Drennan), Steve Boyd, Young Heff (Stephen Boyd, Jr), Citrus (Chris Sauthoff) also often featuring the legendary Garry Shider and Blackbyrd McKnight. Longing for the fulfillment of her initial goal to present her own musical creations and visions to the world, Kendra began to refocus on her solo career and joined forces with all her favorite producer friends: Kelvin Wooten, Keinan Roland (Rastafunk), and Mike P. She has been collaborating with them and many other great musicians/producers, creating a collection of at least 50 songs, planning for the right time to share them with the world. Her style encompasses her many varied influences ranging from Belita Woods of Brainstorm, Sarah Vaughn, & Chaka Khan to Bjork and Sade. But to attempt to name a varying and abundant few more: Nancy Wilson, Dinah Washington, Donny Hathaway, Prince, Freddie Hubbard, John Coltrane, Parliament/Funkadelic, Judy Garland, Wayne Shorter, Brides of Funkenstein, Erykah Badu, Joi, Anita Baker, Parlet, Stevie Wonder,D’Angelo, Isley Brothers, Meshell N’Degeocello, Bjork, Chaka Khan, Lee Morgan, Mary J Blige, Lauryn Hill, Herbie Hancock, Edwin Hawkins, Marvin Gaye, Jill Scott, Betty Carter, De La Soul, Tribe Called Quest, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Staples Singers, Roots, Mozart, Shirley Murdock… and more (yes more)
Her integrated sound (though she has several musical personalities) is a soul based fusion adding everything she can throw in the pot: jazz, funk, hip hop, rock, classical, world, electronica, gospel, etc. She also co-writes for other artists. She wrote lyrics and melodies for “A Warning For The Heart” on Sunshine Anderson’s “The Sun Shines Again”, “Glass Mountain Trust” on Mark Ronson’s “Record Collection”, “U Can Depend On Me”, “Trust In Yourself”, on PFunk Allstars’ “How Late Do U Have 2BB4UR Absent”, and “Stillness In Motion” on George Clinton’s “Gangsters of Love”, “Nectar” on SubSwara’s album “Triggers”, “Step to Reality” on Serge Negri’s Bamboo Sounds, and a 3-Song EP “Fingerpainting” with Gordy Cox.
Kendra recently (over the past 3 years) realized another dream of hers, and began writing with the incomparable, D’Angelo on his upcoming album. In January 2012, she began singing background in his band, The Vanguard, accompanying him on his first tours in a decade.
In Kendra’s main solo venture currently, her forthcoming studio album, she is co-writing with the amazing producer, Kelvin Wooten. Kendra considers Wooten a vital organ to her sonic body. They have chosen 10 songs out of a heaping plethora they created, and are grooming them to be THE ALBUM. As per her usual “m.o.” the songs are an eclectic variety of subject matter and sounds. In her live shows, she comes to a stage armed only with the best musicians. Her present trio–made of some of the best musicians on the globe–Chris Pattishall (keys), Jacob Webb (bass), and Nate Webb (drums) create an amazingly larger sound than the 3 men they are accompanying her. All players highly proficient and tasty in many genres, they enchant and entrance any audience accompanying the siren. She deems music her purpose, and approaches her music as an unassuming, multi-dimensional, progressive ministry…