If you are looking to step back in time as you step out on the town, you can plan to attend a recreation of the music and social legacies of Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, and Nina Simone.
Whether powerfully and playfully claiming her autonomy and sexuality (Bessie Smith), forcing America to acknowledge the racism pervasive in the American South and beyond (Billie Holiday), or giving voice to the Civil Rights movement with stirring protest anthems (Nina Simone), these trailblazing singers spoke to and for the disenfranchised as women, African-Americans, and artists.
Produced by GRAMMY Award-winning Eli Wolf (Norah Jones, Cassandra Wilson), and with arrangements by pianist and musical director Carmen Staaf (Dee Dee Bridgewater), BESSIE, BILLIE, & NINA – Pioneering Women in Jazz features three dynamic vocalists, each a rising star in her own right: Charenée Wade (a regular performer with Jazz at Lincoln Center), Vanisha Gould (recognized for her esteemed work at NYC jazz venues) and Tahira Clayton (co-leader, WIJO, Women in Jazz Organization). Presented in affiliation with WIJO and backed by an all-female band, Wade, Gould, and Clayton celebrate the enduring legacies of these iconic women and artists with performances of their classic songs, including Bessie Smith’s “Downhearted Blues,” Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit,” and Nina Simone’s “Mississippi Goddam.”
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