Tag Archives: Soul

HIPSTER SANCTUARY.COM CELEBRATING 20 YEARS:SOUL JAZZ MEETUP ~ UPSTAIRS@VITELLO’S SUPPER CLUB


posted by Kamaad Tauhid #@blues2jazzguy

It was announced recently at post-concert event, Hipster Sanctuary .com is celebrating its 20th year as a brand and media organization. “We started as a newsletter for The Atlanta International Jazz Society, a group dedicated to promoting the legacy of the American original art form, JAZZ. With our mission intact, we are still promoting traditional and classic jazz, not as a Jazz society now, but as an E-Zine and blog” said Robert J. Carmack, co-founding member.” As a labor of love project we have purged ahead to 2019, as our first newsletter was published in January 1999. As a way to commemorate that honor with our friends and great fan followers of the publication, Hipster Sanctuary.Com has partnered up with one of our jazz groups we strongly support, Ron Jackson/Teodross Avery Soul Jazz project for a JAZZ MEET-UP at the eclectic Upstairs at VITELLO’s Supper Club in Studio City,California. Tuesday,Jan 22nd 2019 7:pm http://www.vitellosrestaurant.com/supperclub

members of the Hipster Collector’s corner jazz group will gather at the club early for a toast to the new year and our 20 years advocating for the legacy. jazz legends cited and honored by this group over the 20 years are Joe Henderson, Shirley Horn, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Oscar Peterson, Billy Higgins, Jackie McLean, Taj Mahal, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Fortune, Vanessa Rubin, Freddie Cole, Hilton Ruiz and others. they all received a Congressional Lifetime Achievement Award sanctioned by Congress and signed by Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

Hipster Sanctuary.com has a sister page on Facebook, HIPSTER COLLECTOR’S CORNER with an event announcement and details regarding special promotions. We can’t wait to blow the audiences away with “throwback electricity” with New York based Jazz guitarist, Ron Jackson (www.ronjacksonmusic.com) making his L.A. debut with his good friend and L.A. based Jazz saxophonist, Teodross Avery . Also, long time jazz veteran drummer, Cecil Brooks III out of Jersey City. Brian Ho Hammond Organ. special surprise invited artists as well.

The group’s sound is a B3 Organ- Guitar-Sax sound that made Blue Note Records popular during the 1960s, conjuring up the memory of Jimmy Smith, Stanley Turrentine,Kenny Burrell or a Grant Green feel.

Hipster Sanctuary.com wants to save you $10 on admission by purchasing your tickets through the restaurant’s Eventbrite web link. easy and safe online tickets@$20..click link HERE!! 

maad Tauhid @blues2jazzguy

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ron-jackson-with-special-guest-teodross-avery-tickets-52736162281?fbclid=IwAR1px02-SPsQBmTT8Nj9BXQ59z-U8DPf0xPq69MakobJerTnobEkuA0IQzM

OLD SCHOOL R&B LOVEFEST: EVENT IN SEARCH OF AN AUDIENCE


https://www.switchentertainmentworld.com/gallery

 Red Marine Entertainment Presents the OLD SCHOOL R&B LOVE FEST
SWITCH , SURFACE , GAP REVIEW  BALL HOOKER. (opening act..)
Real Old School Show: In Search of an audience.. I have been around or involved with the entertainment field for well over 50 years,music in particular. I know a good show when I hear or see one by individuals who really know what to to do with a chord or note. I was pleasantly surprised a few evenings ago as I sort of bumped into a great show. Just helping out my sister as a vendor at the California Education & Performing Arts Center in Ontario California,  11255 Central Avenue. Ontario,Calif.
RED Marine Entertainment recently presented an Old School R&B Lovefest… an evening of solid entertainment by classic Old School groups, Switch , Surface, The Gap Review(Tribute Band) along with opening act Kimball Hooker, male vocalist with some chops.. tagging and paying homage to artists like Keith Sweat.
DYNAMICALLY hosted by LA’s very own, ANGEL BABY – DJ Radio Host.
when you’re a vendor at these productions, you have to arrive early to load-in and get setup . get out of the way of artists moving in equipment, doing sound checks for next two hours. While I had lots of time on my hand, it also gave me an opportunity to move around , be curious as a journalist, as to who and what and why.
I chatted it up with some members of the various bands, production crews and VIP guests , who also arrived early for publicity pictures, video interviews and miscellaneous activities one does before show begins.
At first when my sister told me an old school show, my head automatically thought some mediocre wanna-bees. NOT!!
Listening to sound check of the various groups and singers/musicians, I quickly got a sense of “Oh Wow”, I just wish I had known about this show in advance.  I have my own opinions about that, but, leaving that to the side . Looking inside the cavernous hall with so many empty seats once the show began, I was shocked. Its like you and your lady or gent are all dressed up but no where to go. You just focused on how you looked and not how you were going to get there.
During the early to mid-’70s, Bobby DeBarge, Eddie Fluellen, Phillip Ingram (brother of James Ingram), Jody Sims, and Gregory Williams were in the Ohio-based White Heat, which subsequently morphed into Hot-Ice, an outfit that featured DeBarge, Sims, and Williams, as well as DeBarge’s brother Tommy. That band released an album on Polydor in 1977. Shortly thereafter, Jermaine Jackson helped them secure a contract with Motown offshoot Gordy. All of of this after a very awkward meeting in the Motown building in Hollywood.

As Switch, the band proved to be popular in clubs, as well as within the quiet storm radio format. Their singles There’ll Never Be” (1978), “I Call Your Name” (1979), and “Love Over and Over Again” (1981) reached the Top 10 of Billboard’s R&B chart. Throughout the 2000s, the band’s recordings were sampled by the likes of De La Soul (“A Brighter Tomorrow”), Ne-Yo (“It Just Ain’t Right”), Rich Boy (“Throw Some D’s”), and Erykah Badu (“That Hump”). Ingram, Williams, and Fluellen reunited, added new members, and have been bringing down the house ever since!

The Gap Band Review pays homage to The Gap Band, which is one of the most popular funk groups of the late ’70s, ‘80s to present time.  15 Top Ten R&B singles ranging from ferocious funk anthems to gorgeous slow jams. Many of their hits, such as “Burn Rubber (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)” and “You Dropped a Bomb on Me,” featured instantly memorable, rippling synthesizer bass-lines.

The Gap Band’s  run of hits spanned nearly 20 years, from 1977 through 1995. Their hits continued with “Shake”, “Open Up Your Mind”, “Don’t Stop the Music”, “Yearning for Your Love”, “Early in the Morning”, “Outstanding”, the title song to Keenan Ivory Wayans’ “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” and more!

I wanted to catch the SURFACE show but was too busy by the time they were onstage. the little I did hear, was simply off the charts.. They performed without a band just DAT and  Flute with strong vocals.. my cut Get Closer ..The ’80s soft soul vocal trio known for such lush ballads as “Closer Than Friends” and the million-selling singles “Shower Me With Your Love” and the number one pop hit “The First Time” had one of its first charting records as artists signed to dance music pioneer Salsoul Records. “Falling in Love,” co-written by Surface member David Conley, doesn’t have much in common with the aforementioned titles other than the group name and a (presumably) Conley flute solo. The single made it to number 84 R&B in summer 1983 and the U.K. pop charts. Singer Bernard Jackson who grew up in Stamford, CT, got into the music business through his cousin who lived in New York.
Seizing the opportunity, he relocated to New York and began performing around the city. While doing a show in Stamford, his godfather suggested that he contact his nephew David Townsend who was also in the music business. Townsend, a former touring guitarist for the Isley Brothers, was the son of singer/songwriter/producer Ed Townsend who had a hit with “For Your Love” in summer 1958 and wrote the Impressions‘ “Finally Got Myself Together (I’m a Changed Man)” and co-wrote Marvin Gaye‘s “Let’s Get It On.” Around 1973, Townsend joined a band called the Port Authority where he met David “Pic” Conley. Townsend, whose father shared hit songwriting tips with him, began writing songs with Conley. After Townsend and Conley met Jackson it was decided that they’d write songs together. The trio became staff writers for EMI Music. Their songs were covered by New Edition (“Let’s Be Friends” from their 1985 MCA LP All for Love) and Sister Sledge (“You’re So Fine”). The trio became performers using the name Surface and moved to Los Angeles. An EMI Music executive brought one of their songs, “Let’s Try Again,” to the attention of Larkin Arnold of Columbia Records. Arnold‘s previous successes include Natalie Cole and Peabo Bryson. He signed the group to Columbia and their first single “Let’s Try Again” charted number 80 R&B in late 1986.
The debut album Surface included the smooth and sweet “Happy,” which hit number two R&B for two weeks in early 1987, “Lately” (number eight R&B), and the reissued “Let’s Try Again.” The next LP, 2nd Wave yielded “I Missed” (number three R&B), “Closer Than Friends” (number one R&B for two weeks in early 1989), the wedding standard “Shower Me With Your Love” (gold, number one R&B/number five pop), “You Are My Everything” (number one R&B for two weeks), and “Can We Spend Some Time” (number five R&B). Jackson brought the sheet music to a song he had written in 1986 to his friend, songwriter Brian Simpson, who had a recording studio in his garage. After listening to the finished demo tape, Jackson thought that he had a hit. Hiring a mobile 24-track recording studio truck to capture his vocal in the best professional conditions, Jackson sang “The First Time” in Simpson‘s house. “The First Time” was the first single from Surface’s 3 Deep album and went gold hitting number one R&B and holding the number one pop for two weeks in early 1991. While “The First Time” was topping the charts, Surface was one of the presenters at the American Music Awards and were enthusiastically congratulated. The hits continued with “All I Want Is You” (number eight R&B, early 1991) and “Never Gonna Let You Down.” “You’re the One” billed as Surface featuring Bernard Jackson made it to number 24 R&B, summer 1991. The group’s last charting single was “A Nice Time for Lovin'” included on their 1991 greatest hits LP The Best Surface: A Nice Time for Loving. Conley and Townsend also produced sides on Rebbie Jackson (“Reaction”) that are on The Rebbie Jackson Collection from U.K. label Expansion distributed by Sony/3MV. 

NYC JAZZ GUITARIST RON JACKSON COLLABORATES WITH L.A. SAXOPHONIST TEODROSS AVERY:UPSTAIRS AT VITELLOS’S


posted by Kamaad Tauhid @blues2jazzguy

 

COMING TO LOS ANGELES UPSTAIRS AT VITELLO’S JAZZ SUPPER CLUB JANUARY 2019 !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Jazz Hipsters and Cool people who just love great music all agree, RON JACKSON is the TRUTH!” – Robert J. Carmack – Founder & Chief Editor HipsterSanctuary.com 

Coming January 22ndONE NIGHT ONLY- Upstairs at Vitello’s Supper Club , making his Los Angeles debut out of his West Coast Mini-Tour Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay area and San Diego California.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ron-jackson-with-special-guest-teodross-avery-tickets-52736162281

SAVE $10 at door on day of event when purchased in advance via Safe EVENTBRITE link above

The full dinner menu is available for purchase as soon as doors open. Your ticket purchase is the only reservation you need. A minimum of two items ($20.00) is required per person. $10 ticket INCREASE on day of show. Valet parking available with validation for $6. There is metered street parking as well but be sure to read the signs. Parking is NOT permitted on Woodbridge St. after 9:pm nightly.

Ron Jackson is a New York City 6 and 7-string guitar master, composer, arranger, producer, recording artist, educator, and actor. Considered one of the most versatile guitarists in the world, he is adept in styles such as Jazz, Folk, Latin, African, Rock, R&B, Brazilian, Pop, Country, Calypso, Reggae, Soul, Funk, and Classical. Ron has performed, recorded, and taught in over 30 countries with bands and artists such as Taj Mahal, Cecil Brooks III, Jimmy McGriff, Benny Golson, Randy Weston, Ron Carter, Valery Ponomarev, and Benny Green.

Joining him is L.A., tenor saxophonist Teodross Avery. Signed to GRP/Impulse Records at the age of 19, Teodross has performed with jazz greats on both coasts, East & West. Joining the late 3-time Grammy-winning Roy Hargrove Big Band, the Cedar Walton Sextet, and Hank Jones, vocalist Dwight Trible. He has performed also with Tony award-winning singer, Melba Moore and Phil Perry. Performs regularly with hip hop and rock icons such as Mos Def, Lauryn Hill, and Matchbox Twenty.

Coming!! Next Article written by Robert J. Carmack RON JACKSON – MUSIC MY WAY December 22,2018 @www.hipstersanctuary.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

MUSIC IS YOUR DESTINY: INTERVIEW WITH DESTINY MUHAMMAD~ “HARPIST FROM DA’ HOOD”


posted by Robert J. Carmack ~ @blues2jazzguy -You know its very hard to find a word that describes a person perfectly, but I just may have. what I mean is, I googled the word Destiny and it read, ” the events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future. Also, “the hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future; fate. HOWEVER. Sometimes if you’re lucky and say your prayers, you just might meet a talented, sublime musician who happens to play a very unique instrument in a small community of players within a special genre..the original art form of America, JAZZ.

Destiny Muhammad is a Recording/ Performing Artist | Band Leader | Composer & Producer. Her genre is Celtic to Coltrane is cool and eclectic with a feel of Jazz & storytelling to round out the sonic experience.  The original harp is one of the world’s oldest instrument and toughest to master, even more challenging than the piano its self. when I was growing up in Los Angeles and studying music as a teenager I wanted to learn jazz and sought out all kinds of musicians besides saxophone players to listen and learn from. One of those unique musicians was a lady name, Dorothy Ashby, who played the harp, but not just in a classical music setting,but onstage with jazz hungry fans , in clubs, cultural arts centers and later, concert halls late 1960s through the 1980s.
(Dorothy Ashby August 6, 1930 – April 13, 1986)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dorothy Ashby was Destiny’s big influence early on long before Alice Coltrane’s huge shadow loomed large in her life. But what was really a “head-scratcher” for me was when she mentioned in an interview I held with her recently. While as a child watching TV, a man with wild hair and zany behavior. He abruptly stopped and stared at a Harp momentarily, then sat down and begun to play a beautiful solo. She was watching a famous scene from a “Marx Brothers” film. That was just the spark needed in her little head. She went wow! I would like to play that. As a little girl growing up in the Compton community and going to Tibby elementary school. Destiny could only dream, as her mom had very little money and instruments were not in the cards. Even later as she grew up and tried to learn the violin, it did not “cut it for her.” Things were changing at home and her mom moved to San Pedro area projects for low-income, about the time for her to go to high school, she joined a vocal choir and wanted to take piano lessons but again was told they could not afford lesson. Frustrated but not deterred from her dream, Destiny became a barber, a good one too, which gave her independence and decision making power to pursue whatever she wanted.  But before she knew it, she was approaching 30 years old and needed to sink or swim.making up her mind to go for it musically she began her journey as a harp player by beginning with the rudimentary method of mastering an instrument late in life. A very challenging endeavor, but none the less not impossible. She moved to Oakland East Bay area and sought out help, advice, direction. After a tad bit of finding her niche’, she found people like trumpeter Khalid Shaheed, pianist Tammy Hall and the legendary trumpeter Eddie Gale among many others. Now over 25 years later, she is being blessed beyond words. Not worrying about how long it took, but what she is doing now that she has arrived.

Destiny has opened for The Oakland East Bay Symphony and Smooth Jazz Artist Gerald Albright, shared the stage with Jazz Masters Marcus Shelby, Omar Sosa, Blue Note Artist Ambrose Akisemuire, and Azar Lawrence to name a few. She has headlined for ‘Women in Jazz’ Concert series, the Afro Solo/ Yerba Buena Gardens Concert Festival, Sunday’s in the Redwoods Concert, Fest Sundiata, and SFJAZZ Tribute to Alice Coltrane’s epic album Impulse Release ‘Journey in  Satchidananda .

Destiny is the Principal Harpist for the Eddie Gale Inner Peace Orchestra, the Oakland Community Orchestra and performs with The AWESOME Orchestra.

The Destiny Muhammad JAZZ Trio~Following in the footsteps of jazz harp master Dorothy Ashby (who recorded with everyone from Freddie Hubbard and Frank Wess to Bill Withers and Stevie Wonder), the Destiny Muhammad Jazz Trio is a sleek and soulful ensemble designed to showcase Muhammad’s soaring vocals and transporting string work. 

That second and most highly touted Jazz musician, pianist, composer and master harpist, the late Alice Coltrane. A profound influence on Destiny as a musician, composer but, also as a woman in a male-dominated genre. She has been given high praises by her peers and fellow bay area jazz musicians, as well as prestigious arts organization and music societies.

Whether interpreting jazz standards or her original tunes, Muhammad turns every piece into a soulful adventure.      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hora0U6vvDw

 

A plethora of achievements and awards received in a little over 25 years after not even starting until she was 30 years old on her instrument. Governor Emeritus and Educational Chair Emeritus of the Recording Academy, Jazz Heritage Center of San Francisco Jazz Ambassador,  ASCAP Songwriter Awardee, and Judge for The West Coast Songwriters Contest and Northern California Entertainers Music Awards Female Jazz Artist of the Year.

I asked Destiny what was her greatest joy in music? she said with glee, “That I’m still playing after starting late at 30 and taking that leap of faith. You can follow Destiny’s career and keep up with her gigs by going to her website:http://destinymuhammad.com

If you missed her moving tribute to the great Alice Coltrane the first time,  see information below for tickets and or general information regarding the Concert, Alice Coltrane~Sonic Legacy August 26, 2018 – two shows only!

JAZZ SHOW CANCELED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: STREET LIFE: MAGIC & MUSIC OF JAZZ CRUSADERS


IT was announced recently by producer Robert J. Carmack that the show, Street Life: Magic & music of The Jazz Crusaders is cancelled until further notice. Carmack sited health issues as reason for postponement . no other announcements will be forthcoming. all parties regarding tickets sales online have been contacted and remedied.  those that were purchased from direct sources have been contacted also. again, we apologize for the abrupt cancellation, but it could not be avoided. We will contact those groups and individuals when we are able to direct them to a new date or venue. Thank you for your understanding and support. #@blues2jazzguy

Producer/ Host- Robert J. Carmack

MUST SEE JAZZ EVENT~ AZAR LAWRENCE EXPERIENCE HOTTEST TICKET IN L.A.!!


“ZAR” is celebrating his release on Concord Records, ”Bridge into the New Age” Sunday November 12 8pm-10pm Only!  Zebulon Café Concert in Los Angeles ~ 2478 Fletcher Drive L.A. 90039. Buy tickets:$25  https://www.ticketfly.com/event/1582784-azar-lawrence-experience-los-angeles/    

Saxophones ~ Leader – Azar Lawrence

Special Guest vocalist – Windy Barnes-Farrell

Bass-Henry Franklin

Trumpet-Michael Hunter

Roy McCurdy – Drums

Munyungo Jackson-Percussion

Theo Saunders-Piano

 

 

CALIFORNIA MUSEUM JAZZ & BLUES: MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO ELLA AND JOE


California Jazz and Blues Museum

presents
A Shirt and a Skirt
Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Williams
Starring jazz legend Kevin Mahogany
with special guest jazz vocalist
Barbara Morrison
Friday, November 17
8:00 pm
The proceeds of this event benefit the programs of the
TICKETS ON SALE NOW!!
Our CJBM mission is to educate audiences about the importance of the influence that California, its artists and geographical venues have in the worldwide genre of jazz and blues. We deliver an annual calendar of innovative and inspiring exhibitions, programs, and events.
We appreciate your support. Donate here.
For more information on the California Jazz and Blues Museum or the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center,
please call (310) 462-1439 or visit
Barbara Morrison
Founder and President

 

THE HIPSTER PAY TRIBUTE TO BILLY PAUL ~RIP CHARMING BILLY 1934~2016


 

posted by Robert J. Carmack       #@blues2jazzguy

Charming Billy Paul
Charming Billy Paul

 

Billy Paul NOW 3 RED Shirt
Billy’s Back Home! RIP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going East to be a Love Buddy
Going East to be a Love Buddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Besides being a big fan since “Live at The Cadillac Club” album which was a great JAZZ album played in heavy rotation in Los Angeles during  the late 60s on their prime jazz station,KBCA FM 105.1. I believe and was shocked to find that Billy was older than I thought,Also, that both, he and Barry Gordy had a connection in his early Jazz days.
But, the REAL Story for Billy was the hot new deal with “Philly-Soul Cervantes,” Gamble & Huff . Going East album  (1971) was a big favorite of mine , The whole album often found itself being played over and over and over again at my house. On my tape player, turn-table and at the clubs on the juke Box, even on the bandstand by cover bands.

The “Ladies” was buzzing about this brother in the leather hat & aviator glasses singing those erotic love songs and with the pleasantly smooth voice. Talking about “LOVE BUDDIES” Followup that big hit with ME & Mrs Jones, Bam! right between the eyes! Another big album Plus!
I saw him at several clubs in L.A. in the 1970s.

2003, I was producing a Jazz Series in San Francisco, Celebrate a Legend: Jazz in July, when I found out he was due at a concert in the SF Bay area the next day. During a special night we were presenting Freddie Hubbard a Congressional Lifetime Achievement ,We brought Billy in for a surprise appearance and presented him with a lifetime award also. a congressional signature by Congresswoman Barbara Lee. That night with a packed house at the Plush Room in Knob Hill, Billy “nailed” The Old Folks” a jazz standard he performed in a cameo spot while getting his award. that was the last time I saw him live …July 2003.

He never stopped touring & singing until Now.. RIP Billy! You always knew THE RIGHT SONG for the RIGHT MOMENT!

NINA SIMONE LEGACY~MISUNDERSTOOD??


“posted by  Robert J. Carmack   #blues2jazzguy

NINA early 60sSIMONE
early 1960s

With the upcoming production of NINA, a so-called biopic surrounding the life and loves of Nina Simone. There is tremendous opposition to the film from all sides and motives. It certainly has been no secret how I felt about the casting of Zoe Saldana in the starring role.I can’t speak for everybody who objects, but my reasons are not about just the pigmentation of the actress’s skin.  It also goes to the arrogant notion that you could make a valid movie about such a historical and iconic figure without involving the family.

 

NINA 1965NOW NATURAL
Seen in 1965, Nina was among the first to sport a Natural..

Also, making the movie about a love story between an artist who very name commands a certain amount of respect and truth when depicting her contributions. The whole notion of this movie  I’m told, it’s not a “Real” biographical picture. A vehicle with her name, background, artistic position and exploitation of another prominent African-American artist, All to pad the pocketbook of a few individuals.  In my humble opinion, I would have cast Viola Davis since the acting quality is needed more than beauty.(No Disrespect) One can easily ask , Why should you care if Hollywood wants to make money , who are we??  I disagree with the notion, Hollywood can do what it wants. Again my issue is when I was a young lad who left the south and away from Jim Crow in 1960 with my parents teaching us about respect and not to hate even though we were being hated and oppressed.I Experienced many of the same things Nina experienced while growing up in the racist South. I always saw NIna Simone as more than just an entertainer. I saw her liken to an Out-front radical black woman, unafraid of consequences or “what if I can’t get a check anymore??” Unlike today’s stars who are flimsy, uninvolved, unless there is some money or free publicity. She was just like Harry Belafonte, and a few others really into it, Out front, not suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.  By1965 , She was the first male or female entertainer I saw with the natural hair Style.

The first time I heard her sing on record, It was something different about her style and sound when she played the piano. I was only about 12 or 13 years old at the time I began hearing the song, “I Put A Spell On You”, Most of her albums  and concerts in the early years were centered around the blues and folk songs with mix of jazz standards. As we got past 1965, her involvement in the Civil Rights movement expanded.. remember this was not just a photo-op  moment for her, she was right there with the Evers, Kings, and the many nameless people who put their lives on the line. Even as a little girl about to perform a very important concert and audition for a very prestigious music school in Philadelphia. Her parents came all the way from the south to see her and got seats up front when the hall’s staff informed them they had to move to the rear of the theater.. at that moment Little Nina became a woman when she absolutely refused to perform unless her parents were brought back to their seats upfront. She was obliged by management of the theater after the embarrassing moment for that Philadelphian school. Though her performance  during the audition was sublime and quite stellar, they did not accept her into the school. (They tried decades later to make it up to her by offering her an Honorary Doctorate degree, after she was quite famous and near the end of her illustrious career.) She then wound up applying  and enrolling into Julliard school of music in New York. She excelled there until she could no longer afford the high fees. She found work in clubs and the cafes in the Village” and taught students piano to survive in the “Apple”.

I always loved pretty much all of her recordings, but enjoyed her even more whenever I could see her live on stage or at a festival. Her legacy should not be tarnished by this fake movie about a love affair that never took place. The storyline can be plugged into anyone and really doesn’t justify using her namesake and legacy to pump out more garbage movies using a Black icon for leverage to market that brand. It’s not a black movie employing dozens of black people behind and in front of the camera. It’s a damn shame and an insult to Nina Simone family having the actress have to pile on hours of makeup to look black enough to film her as Nina Simone. The same black woman who fought this type of treatment where ever she went. She was not light enough, She was not pretty enough, her lips was too big or nose too wide..she certainly did not suffer from not knowing who she was and where she came from.

 

UNSPECIFIED - 1968: This studio portrait shows American pianist and jazz singer Nina Simone reclining on the floor circa 1968. Simone, whose deep, raspy voice made her a unique jazz figure and later helped chronicle the civil rights movement, died in her sleep on April 21, 2003 of natural causes after a long illness. She was 70.   (Photo by Getty Images)

The problem with today’s movie Producers is, they’re either too young or were not born at all when these types of icons were in their heyday and functioned with and without racist interaction.. IN THEIR HASTE TO GET BUTTS IN THE SEATS, QUALITY CASTING and DIRECTORIAL  EXPERIENCE  be damned! Many of the motivations and behaviors that would be exhibited through such a person as Nina Simone, would require not only great acting, but perhaps a person with similar looks and physical features that maybe have experienced those same experiences while trying “make it” in Hollywood. There are many women that fit that bill I’m sure. Portraying this woman is a beautiful actress who would have been better suited to play Dorothy Dandridge, Diane Carroll, or someone like that.  Why it’s not even believable under this present scenario..BUT, it’s already made now.

Two years ago when I was active on social media websites arguing in the threads about, who I thought should play her. Then, we had only heard rumors about “WHO” was actually chosen as Nina Simone. Names bounced around at the time were Viola Davis, India Arie, and even hip hop’s, Angie Stone just to name a few.. Davis or Arie would have sufficed big time!  I’ll leave it to the masses whether this movie sinks or swims. NINA is scheduled for an April release.

I have a strange feeling I’ll be talking about this again, possibly in May, to measure if “Nina” has the Legs to hang.

Zoe Saldana as NINA
Zoe Saldana as NINA