Nina Simone tribute set for Sunday at Jazz Depot
BY JENNIFER CHANCELLOR World Scene Writer
Thursday, March 14, 2013
3/14/13 at 5:16 AM
Popular jazz singer Cynthia Simmons is taking her show into rarefied air this Sunday when she pays tribute to the high priestess of soul, Nina Simone.
The tribute concert is 5 p.m. Sunday at the Jazz Depot inside the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, 111 E. First St. Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for senior citizens and Jazz Hall members, $15 for general admission and $20 for reserved seating, available at the door, tulsaworld.com/jazzhalltix or by calling Bettie Downing at 918-281-8609.
This is Simmons' third headlining gig at the Depot but her first tribute.
"The last two shows I did were my own," she said in a media statement. "All I had to do was go out and sing songs I liked to sing. This one is the first time for me to have an artist - who is one of the jazz greats - and a theme."
While learning the show, Simmons learned a lot about her idol, too.
Born Eunice Kathleen Wayman in North Carolina in 1933, Simone changed her name, according to Simmons, "to hide from her mother that she was singing in clubs."
Her biggest hit was the pop crossover "I Loves You, Porgy," from the Gershwin musical "Porgy & Bess."
Although she never had another Top 40 hit, Simone recorded dozens of albums and became a popular performer, as well as an increasingly active participant in the civil rights struggles of the '60s and '70s.
Her albums and live shows drew from a variety of sources, including blues, R&B, gospel, jazz and the classical music that had begun captivating her as a child.
Simone also popularized many songs, including "Feeling Good," "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," "My Baby Just Cares for Me" and "I Put a Spell on You."
Simone died of cancer in 2003 while living in France. Her final album, "A Single Woman," was released in 1993.
Sunday's show is a part of the Jazz Hall's Spring Concert Series.
Jennifer Chancellor 918-581-8346
Nina Simone sits for a photo in 1993. Simone, the jazz great whose raspy, forceful voice helped define the civil rights movement, died in 2003. Local jazz singer Cynthia Simmons will sing a tribute to Nina Simone on Sunday at the Jazz Depot. Associated Press file