E&B World Music Showcase -Nina Simone


As most of my readers know by now, TenaciousM cannot be edited. What I like, I love and that includes people, art, chocolate and music. So I’ve decided to get a conversation going around some of the amazing music from around the world. Please feel free to share your thoughts and/or submissions for repost or shout out here at Egos & Buffaloes.

If I’m going to do my blog justice, I have to start with Ms. Nina Simone. Her musical influence reached worldwide audiences. When my parents used to listened to her I thought she must be the saddest woman in the world. But I realize now that Nina was soulful like no other. Nina Simone accomplished global appeal during a time when the fires of civil rights and women’s rights movements were just being stoked.

Nina Simone (born Eunice Kathleen Waymon; February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003) was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist widely associated with jazz music. Simone aspired to become a classical pianist while working in a broad range of styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop.

Born the sixth child of a preacher’s family in North Carolina, Simone aspired to be a concert pianist. Her musical path changed direction after she was denied a scholarship to the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, despite a well-received audition. Simone was later told by someone working at Curtis that she was rejected because she was black. When she began playing in a small club in Philadelphia to fund her continuing musical education and become a classical pianist she was required to sing as well. She was approached for a recording by Bethlehem Records, and her rendering of “I Loves You, Porgy” was a hit in the United States in 1958. Over the length of her career Simone recorded more than 40 albums, mostly between 1958—when she made her debut with Little Girl Blue—and 1974.

Between 1974-2003, Simone stayed in Barbados for quite some time. A close friend, singer Miriam Makeba, then persuaded her to go to Liberia. Later, she lived in Switzerland and the Netherlands, before settling in France in 1992. Credit: Wikipedia

Nina Simone’s relevance is still visible today. She wrote “Four Women”, a song about four different stereotypes of African-American women, and included the recording on her 1966 album, “Wild Is the Wind”. The following rendition of the song is performed by Ledisi, Jill Scott, Kelly Price, & Marsha Ambrosius during “Black Girls Rock” in 2010.


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