Produced by Grammy-winning Eli Wolf (Norah Jones, Cassandra Wilson), and with arrangements by pianist and musical director Carmen Staff (Dee Dee Bridgewater), BESSIE, BILLIE, & NINA: PIONEERING WOMEN IN JAZZ features three dynamic vocalists, each a rising star in her own right: Charenée Wade (Jazz at Lincoln Center), Tahira Clayton (co-leader, WIJO, Women in Jazz Organization) and Vanisha Gould. 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.”
The musical and social legacies of Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, and Nina Simone remain as relevant as ever. Their contributions resonate with today’s artists across many genres, as well as with ongoing movements toward progress and equality for women, African-Americans, and the LGBTQ community. BESSIE, BILLIE, & NINA will entertain, inspire, and empower audiences during this pivotal time in our own history.
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