Saturday, March 14 / 7:30 p.m.
“I Got Life:” The Music of Nina Simone
WCR Center for the Arts / Reading
Tickets: $30 (general admission)

Carol Riddick & Gerald Veasley

In this memorable concert vocalist Carol Riddick, bassist Gerald Veasley, pianist Aaron Graves and drummer Tim Hutson pay tribute to Nina Simone, one of the most extraordinary artists of the 20th century, an icon of American music.

Simone was the consummate musical storyteller who used her remarkable talent to create a legacy of liberation, empowerment, passion and love through a magnificent body of work.

She earned the moniker High Priestess of Soul for her voice could weave a

Nina Simone

spell so seductive and hypnotic that her listeners lost track of time and space as they became absorbed in the moment. When she died in 2003, she left a timeless treasure trove of musical magic spanning over four decades.

“Ain’t Got No/I Got Life” was a 1968 single by Simone from her album ‘Nuff Said and was a medley of two songs “Ain’t Got No” and “I Got Life’ from the musical Hair.

Carol Riddick’s sound encompasses rich, smooth melodies. She has been featured with R&B artists such as Jill Scott, Anthony Hamilton, Norman Brown, and Jeff Bradshaw. Her unique vocal delivery was evident on the platinum-selling CD title song “Soulstar” which she was featured with Musiq Soulchild.

Riddick was one of the background singers for Jill Scott along with Vivian Green before stepping out on her own. Now moving from the background to the forefront, Riddick has made artistic strides with some of the best producers in the game such as James Poyser and Anthony Bell.

Gerald Veasley’s musical odyssey has taken him to the top of the contemporary music world as a bassist, bandleader, composer, producer, educator and curator.

His performance as a six-string bassist has been marvelous through a multi-decade career of combining jazz, funk and soul genres into a tantalizing blend of earthy sophistication.

Aaron Graves has performed and/or recorded with stalwarts such as Stanley Turrentine, Oscar Brown Jr., Dakota Slaton, Cassandra Wilson, Grover Washington Jr., The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, The Boys Choir of Harlem, Barbara Montgomery and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Tim Hutson is an in-demand drummer who performs with a variety of artists.