Born in El Paso, Texas USA of Mexican-American heritage, his interest in music began at age 6 with the violin in elementary school. After a brief stint with the trumpet, he eventually settled on the trombone, just before his family moved to Los Angeles, California, at 14 years of age. His love for music continued into college, where he became interested in jazz and began writing several Big Band arrangements on his way to a Bachelor's Degree from California State University, Los Angeles. In the following years, he worked as a freelance musician with various groups, to include tours with the Si Zentner Orchestra, Glenn Campbell and Bobbie Gentry.

In 1969, he was called to serve in the Army and sent to fight in theVietnam War. After 5 months of combat infantry as "point man" in a Recon Platoon, he was commissioned by an Army General to organize a band to entertain the troops and raise the morale. The band, "The Redcatcher Express" developed into a unique experience in the military, which prompted a book by the same name "The Redcatcher Express," and is available on www.airleaf.com .

After completing his tour-of-duty in Vietnam, his freelance career started-up again, to include a 14-month tour with reggae artist, Johnny Nash where he shared the stage with R&B groups such as The Commodores, The O'Jays, Minnie Ripperton, The Isley Brothers, The Ohio Players and many more. In 1976 he organized a salsa band "Orquesta Siva," which was picked to open for the "Rolling Stones" 1976 Tour of the Americas, for 5 consecutive nights at the Los Angeles Forum.

This led to the start-up and leadership of another group, "The Los Angeles Salsa All-Stars," which was comprised of the finest musicians in Los Angeles.

Seen in picture from left to right: Jose "Perico" Hernandez, Arturo Velasco, Alex Acuna, Oscar Meza, Jorge Luis Balsameda, Pat Reagh, Yari More, Carlos Navarro, Bobby Rivas, Harry Kim, Glenn Ferris, Henry Mora, Pete Tollen, Louis Gonzales and Luis Conte.

In 1993, he returned to college and completed a Masters Degree in Music. It is during this time that the concept for the "Henry Mora Orchestra" surfaced. Patterned after the orchestras of the Big Band Era such as Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, and incorporating the musical diversity of his career. The concept involves combining the classic Big Band style and well-known music of that era, with salsa, modern jazz harmony, and rhythm 'n blues (R&B).

This musically eclectic group, featuring lyrics in both English and Spanish, quickly became a popular group among local jazz and latin musicians in the Los Angeles area. In September 1995, the "Henry Mora Orchestra" was a featured artist at the "Santa Barbara International Jazz Festival" held in Santa Barbara, California, and has been performing in the Southern California area since.

Check our Calendar for specific times and locations to catch the "Henry Mora Orchestra" performing live.

With the release of the orchestra's first cd, 'Round Midnight came the opportunity to perform for several Jazz Festivals in Los Angeles, the Playboy Jazz Festival and the 1st Annual Hollywood Park Jazz Festival in Inglewood, CA. On May 30, 2004 the Henry Mora Orchestra was a featured artist at the Playboy Jazz Festival in Pasadena, CA performing for a crowd of about 35,000 people.

With the 'Round Midnight CD, the orchestra's size grew from 19 to 23 musicians. Featuring the female vocals of Noelia Hernandez, Juliana Munoz, and Bruni Mercado in both Salsa and Latin Jazz, the orchestra's focus widened. With the classic salsa styling of NYC Sonero, Martin X, a local salsa singer and musician the orchestra gained insight into the "tipico" perspective of salsa. It was a good year for the orchestra, growing in size and musical concept.

Following this, the On May 30, 2004, Tropico Records released the live recording of the Henry Mora Orchestra, "Live" at the Montebello Inn. Also available through CDBaby. This highly energetic performance marks the debut concert of the orchestra released as a re-mastered recording of it's performance at the Montebello Inn, in Montebello, CA. A swinging salsa Big Band jazz recording in a live setting, recorded in stereo with two microphones on two DAT recorders.
Tropical rhythms and jazz with Big Band arrangements was the concept for the recording. An exciting, energetic, sophisticated style of Big Band music that commemorated American jazz and latin standards.

On July 24, 2004 the Henry Mora Orchestra performed at the 1st Annual Hollywood Park Jazz Festival in Inglewood, CA. It's success is published in Inglewood Today Magazine and the U Entertainment Section of Newspapers in the Pasadena Star News, the San Gabriel Valley News, The Whittier news, and the Inland Empire's Daily Bulletin. Several reviews followed in the Whittier News, the L.A Times Calendar and personal biographic history of Henry Mora, story by Paul Anderson in the Inland Empire's Daily Bulletin Newspaper.