“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, has performed in many festivals, jazz clubs and churches to a sold-out crowds. “I feel more alive now that I ever in my life. I have a chance to live, as I’ve dreamed. I got Life.” Nina Simone More than a concert, I Got Life is a 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, we has known it all along. We have long been a student of her music and has been inspired by her life story. Veasley recognized Carol’s potential for channeling Nina Simone before the two even spoke. Says Veasley, “I knew Carol had that same intensity and passion before I heard her sing a note of Nina Simone’s music.” Together they now 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 has collaborated with GRAMMY award winning producers and songwriters including James Poyser (Erykah Badu, The Roots), Anthony Bell (Jill Scott, Jewel), and Carvin Haggins & Ivan Barias (Musiq, Faith Evans). Carol’s fondness for the Philly International and Motown recordings on which she grew up is reflected in her debut album, "Moments Like This", which carries on the tradition of music that moves people. Her Sophomore project "Love Phases" which includes the soul stirring single "Love Like I've Never Been Hurt Before” is a collection of songs expressing facets of the joy and hurt of love; whether it be with regard to romantic or self-love. In addition to her solo efforts, Carol has also lent her impressive background vocal ability to musically acclaimed R&B crooner and Prince of Sophisticated Soul, Will Downing’s, live performances. Her performance of the riveting duet “Nothing Has Ever Felt", originally recorded by Will Downing and the incomparable Rachelle Ferrell, is sure to take your breath away.
Gerald Veasley’s musical odyssey has taken him to the top of the contemporary music world as a bassist, bandleader, composer, producer and educator. He has recorded and/or performed with many of the world’ stop performers in many genres of music such as; Chuck Loeb, Maysa, Kim Waters, Nick Colionne, Special EFX, Pieces of a Dream, McCoy Tyner, Gerald Levert, Teddy Pendergrass, Nnenna Freelon, Philip Bailey, the Dixie Hummingbirds, John Blake, Phil Perry, Will Downing and Pat Martino.
Gerald is currently curator of the “Unscripted Jazz Series” with special guests such as Kirk Whalum, Raul Midón, Alex Bugnon, Maysa and Gerald Albright. He is in the process of producing an album of Nina Simone’s music to add to his rich repertoire. Whether he is performing, recording, collaborating, or teaching, Gerald brings a joyous, polished professionalism to the process of making music.