“I Got Life: The Music of Nina Simone” pairs two legends of jazz and soul music to celebrate an iconic artist. The act, consisting of vocals and three instrumentalists, is seeking performance opportunities in festivals and jazz clubs in the United States.
More than a concert, I Got Life is an event that explores the powerful music and empowering messages of Nina Simone. The presentation moves through four aspects of Ms. Simone’s songbook: Quest, Passion, Fury and Hope. Vocalist Carol Riddick and bassist Gerald Veasley lead an ensemble that re-imagines Nina Simone’s work with inventive energy
Why “The Music of Nina Simone”?
While the world is re-discovering the brilliance of Nina Simone, Veasley has known it all along. He has been a long been a student of her music and has been inspired by her life story. Veasley recognized Riddick’s potential for channeling Nina Simone before the two even spoke. Says Veasley, “I knew Carol had that same intensity and fire before I heard her sing a note of of Nina Simone’s music.” Together they share a deep appreciation for Ms. Simone’s music and her desire for social justice. As a result, “I Got Life” speaks to our current turbulent times with honesty and raw beauty. Veasley and Riddick understand there is no better time to present this timeless music
Carol is no stranger to the music industry. She has been featured with R&B artists such as Jill Scott, Anthony Hamilton, Kindred, Norman Brown, and Jeff Bradshaw. Carol Riddick began her career touring with Will Smith and DJ Jazzy and has become one of the most respected artists in the music community.”I’m committed to performing empowering, positive music that people can gain inspiration from. It’s my hope that listeners will feel the songs as strongly. I poured my heart and soul into Nina Simone’s music and I hope that it touches all who hear it with that same intensity.
Veasley is well regarded as a recording artist with several solo albums to his credit. As a bassist, he has worked extensively in the jazz, gospel and R&B genres. His resume includes collaborations with a wide range of artists: Dianne Reeves, Kirk Whalum, The Dixie Hummingbirds, Teddy Pendergrass, Zap Mama. He counts among his mentors two groundbreaking artists: Grover Washington and Joe Zawinul, from whom he developed an appreciation for the balance between innovation and tradition.
This is a musical conversation between two seasoned artists: an accomplished jazz musician and a fiery soul singer. The group is rounded out by Aaron Graves, a keyboardist who served as Little Jimmy Scott’s musical director and Marcus Myers, a standout musician among the new wave of drummers. Together they present the songbook in organic, dynamic arrangements that are fresh yet maintain the essence of the original versions.
Carol Riddick – Vocals
Gerald Veasley – Bass, Music Director
Aaron Graves – Keyboards
Marcus Myers – Drums