Saturday, August 7 / 7:30 p.m.
Berks Jazz Fest Preview Concert
“I GOT LIFE! THE MUSIC OF NINA SIMONE”
CAROL RIDDICK & GERALD VEASLEY
with AARON GRAVES, TIM HUTSON
WCR Center for the Arts
Tickets: $30  (General Admission)

Carol Riddick & Gerald Veasley

“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, including the Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest in 2019.

“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 — Aaron Graves, pianno, and Tim Hutson, drums — that re-imagines Nina Simone’s work with inventive energy.

“While the world is re-discovering the brilliance of Nina Simone, we have known it all along,” said Veasley. “We have long been a student of her music and have been inspired by her life story.”

Veasley recognized Carol’s potential for channeling Nina Simone before the two even spoke.

“I knew Carol had that same intensity and passion before I heard her sing a note of Nina Simone’s music,” said Veasley.

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.