I can remember the first time I became mesmerize with singer, pianist, and songwriter Nina Simone. It was while watching the 1993 film "Point of No Return" starring actress Bridget Fonda who played an assassin and had a fascination with the singer's music. Many of Nina Simone songs were used on the soundtrack to the film and they were incredible. Her voice is filled with so much soul and emotion - I instantly fell in love with her deep baritone voice, its one-of-a kind.
Photo by Teenie Harris, 1965
Nina Simone sang a mix of jazz, blues and classical music and was an accomplished pianist as well as a vocalist and studied at New York's Julliard. Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in Tryon, North Carolina on February 21, 1933, Nina’s talent as a musician was evident early on when she started playing piano by ear at the age of three. In 1954, Eunice auditioned to sing at the Midtown Bar & Grill on Pacific Avenue in Atlantic City, New Jersey Word spread about this unique singer and overnight Eunice Waymon became Nina Simone by taking the nickname “Nina” meaning “little one” in Spanish and “Simone” after the actress Simone Signoret. In the early 1960's she became involved in the civil rights movement and her music was highly influential in the fight for equal rights for African Americans in the United States. Visit http://www.ninasimone.com/bio/ to explore more on her life!