Simone - vocalist
She is her own woman, a singer, songwriter and performer whose ability to transcend genres echoes the tradition of her mother, musical icon and pioneer Nina Simone. Blessed with a rich vocal range, an innate skill for lyrical interpretation and a soul-deep understanding of music as a means of healing, empowerment and celebration, Simone is very much her mother’s daughter, she is most assuredly a multi-talented artist in her own right.
A highly-praised live performer whose impressive resume includes starring roles on Broadway in such acclaimed musicals as Rent and Aida, Simone has developed an exciting and diverse repertoire of pop, soul, jazz, rock and funk, expressed in shows she’s done throughout the U.S. and in the UK, Ireland, Holland, Finland, Spain and France. With the February 2008 release of her first full-length album, “Simone On Simone” (a big band tribute to her mother produced by famed jazz musician and arranger Bob Belden), music lovers worldwide will discover the vocal dynamism that live audiences have witnessed for over a decade. “This is my tribute to my mother, a chance for me to do the songs I love the most the way I hear them. It’s a glimpse of my life over four decades…”
Born Lisa Celeste Stroud in Mount Vernon in upstate New York, Simone’s earliest exposure to music naturally came through her mother’s work as a globally-loved musician and freedom fighter but she recalls, “I heard a lot of other artists because we had albums by Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Gladys Knight & The Pips, gospel records by all of the Hawkins family and Reverend James Cleveland. The radio was on when my mother was traveling to gigs so I heard everything The Beatles and The Mamas & The Papas to two of my all-time favorites, Ronnie Dyson and Donny Hathaway. Of course I heard my mother’s music: the albums I remember the most are “Silk & Soul” and “The High Priestess Of Soul.” Miriam Makeba was a constant favorite in our house but I didn’t hear much jazz and even though my mother was classically trained, I never heard much classical music.