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Four Superstar Jazz Women Salute Nina Simone

Four Superstar Jazz Women Salute Nina Simone at the New Zealand International Arts Festival

A supernova line up of four of the world’s great female vocalists – Dianne Reeves, Patti Austin, Lizz Wright and Simone - pay homage to the one and only Nina Simone in Sing The Truth: Nina Simone Remembered.

Revered as the greatest jazz voice of contemporary jazz, Grammy winner Dianne Reeves is joined by bestselling recording artist, the gospel trained contralto Lizz Wright, Grammy winner Patti Austin, and Broadway star Simone - the daughter of Nina Simone, for one night at the Michael Fowler Centre.

The four women will perform with original members of the Nina Simone Band led by her long-time music director and guitarist, Al Schackman.


Click to enlarge

Sing the Truth features songs from Simone’s classic catalogue including Four Women, I Loves You Porgy, My Baby Just Cares for Me, Ne Me Quitte Pas, Feeling Good, Lilac Wine and To Be Young, Gifted and Black.

Of their performance at the Barbican Theatre in London earlier this year, the Evening Standard wrote: “...the singers, all powerful performers with more than a spark of Simone's feisty feminism in their souls, found no difficulty in making her anthemic songs their own.”

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At the age of 70, Dr Nina Simone left a unique body of music that blended jazz, gospel, folk, blues, pop, classical music, songs from musicals and opera, African chants and political awareness.

She was a singer, pianist, arranger, composer, honorary doctor in music and humanities known as the “High Priestess of Soul, and the Queen of African rooted classical music.”

The New York Times wrote "Nina Simone was the ultimate pop diva, notoriously temperamental, musically beyond category and at one time the definitive interpreter of Bob Dylan. Her expressions of bitterness, anger and embattled pride were matched by a supreme, classically trained musicality few could touch."

“It is extraordinary to have such a powerhouse of contemporary voices - Dianne Reeves, Patti Austin, Lizz Wright, and Simone – pay tribute to the legendary icon Nina Simone, who herself was in the New Zealand International Arts Festival in 1988. It’s history in the making for New Zealand audiences

as it was nearly 22 years ago. The line-up is the best that could be wished for in the absence of the diva herself,” says Lissa Twomey, Artistic Director of the New Zealand International Arts Festival. Gold Partners: New Zealand Post Group, TV3, Clemenger BBDO, Pacific Blue. Funders: Absolutely Positively Wellington, Creative New Zealand

Sing the Truth: Nina Simone Remembered is sponsored by New Zealand Post Group.

WHEN: 6 March

WHERE: Michael Fowler Centre

ENDS

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