The Broadway singer will perform the hits of Aretha Franklin with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra | Culture & Leisure

Aretha Franklin’s shoes may be tight, but Broadway babe Capathia Jenkins is the woman for it.

Jenkins, a Brooklyn-born and raised singer and actress, has made a name for herself bringing the Queen of Soul’s music to the masses, as she performs alongside orchestras around the world. She knows better than to offer an exact copy of the imitation of the inimitable singer, who died in 2018, but she is well aware that the public wants to hear certain songs made famous by Franklin.

“There will never be another Aretha. She was a singular, unique person,” Jenkins said from her home in Georgia. “No matter what she was singing, you always knew it was her. She had a way of infusing a song. She was totally invested in it. There are certain things that I try to copy, or to try to do as I think she did, but for the most part you hear Capathia.

“Aretha: Queen of Soul,” featuring Jenkins and vocalist Matthew Johnson with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, is Friday and Saturday at Pikes Peak Center.


The show will return to Franklin’s gospel roots, featuring a few songs from his 1972 live album, “Amazing Grace,” before diving into the rest of his catalog. Johnson will perform songs by Franklin’s friends Otis Redding, Sam Cooke and Stevie Wonder, and the orchestra will perform only instrumental versions of some of his music.

“She was always playing in my house. I grew up with it,” Jenkins said.

Much like Franklin, there was no way Jenkins wasn’t a singer and performer. She got there early, at age 8, when a music teacher told her mother she had talent and needed to be nurtured. When she was 12, that same teacher took her to see her first Broadway show – “The Wiz.”

“Watching another little black girl from Brooklyn gave me permission to dream in such a visceral way,” Jenkins said. “It changed my life.”


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In high school, she studied classics, singing French, Italian and German tunes, then moved on to Temple University for its vocal jazz program. From there, it was theatrical and musical reviews, a national tour of “Dreamgirls”, then her big Broadway debut in 1999 in “The Civil War”. She followed up with “The Look of Love” and “(mis)Understanding Mammy: The Hattie McDaniel Story”, among others, and her last show, “Newsies”, in 2014.


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A few years ago, she and her husband moved to Georgia for a quieter existence outside the city. It’s a great place to land after his symphony concerts, which started a dozen years ago.

“It turned into a full-fledged career that I didn’t know was possible,” she said. “But I started meeting conductors and they were like what do you like to sing, let’s put on a show for you. It became this career, a dream I didn’t even know I had.

Contact the author: 636-0270

Contact the author: 636-0270

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