Jaguar Wright and Gerald Veasley “I Got Life: The Music of Nina Simone.”

"I Got Life: The Music of Nina Simone."

An exciting and groundbreaking collaboration featuring Gerald Veasley and Jaguar Wright comes together to celebrate the music of the iconic of
Nina Simone. The legends of jazz and soul music are taking this dynamic show on the road and making it available for festivals and clubs throughout the United States.

More than a concert, I Got Life is 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 Jaguar Wright and bassist Gerald Veasley lead an ensemble that re-imagines Nina Simone's work with inventive energy.

Why "The Music of Nina Simone"?
While the world is re-discovering the brilliance of Nina Simone, Jaguar has known it all along. She has long been a student of her music and has been inspired by her life story. Veasley recognized Jaguar's potential for channeling Nina Simone before the two even spoke. Says Veasley, "I knew Jaguar had that same intensity and fire before I heard her sing a note of of Nina Simone's music." Together they 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 Wright understand there is no better time to present this timeless music.

Jaguar Wright

Jaguar is an artist who cannot be defined by genre. She is a Renaissance woman, as comfortable performing with rap mogul Jay Z as she is with jazz drummer extraordinaire, Terri Lynn Carrington. Jaguar was a breakout artist in Philadelphia's Black Lily scene created by Questlove and The Roots which spawned the careers of Jill Scott and other major Neo-Soul and Hip Hop artists. She released two critically acclaimed albums and also appeared on Veasley's "Velvet" cd, performing a rendition of the soul classic, "Let's Do It Again".

Gerald Veasley

Veasley is well regarded as a recording artist with several solo albums to his credit. As a bassist, he has worked extensively in the jazz, gospel and R&B genres. His resume includes collaborations with a wide range of artists: Dianne Reeves, Kirk Whalum, The Dixie Hummingbirds, Teddy Pendergrass, Zap Mama. He counts among his mentors two groundbreaking artists: Grover Washington and Joe Zawinul, from whom he developed an appreciation for the balance between innovation and tradition.

I Got Life brings together two internationally acclaimed artists who were launched out of the vibrant Philadelphia jazz and soul scenes. However, the performances by these collaborators defy category and are in the adventurous spirit of Ms. Simone. As the iconic artist said, "Jazz is not just music, it's a way of life, it's a way of being, a way of thinking". Well said, Ms. Simone, well said.

Jaguar Wright

Jaguar Wright was brought to the attention of hip-hop group The Roots in 2001, which eventually led to her going to tour with them. She later appeared as a back-up singer for Jay-Z in 2001, and appeared in a Coca-Cola advert as part of the brand's "Nu Soul" campaign.

She has released two solo albums to date: Denials, Delusions & Decisions in 2002, and Divorcing Neo 2 Marry Soul in 2005. Wright also recorded an album entitled ...And Your Point Is? which was due for release in 2003 on MCA Records (who also distributed her debut), before the label folded. However, many of the tracks recorded for that album later appeared on Divorcing Neo 2 Marry Soul.
In 2007, two new songs appeared on her MySpace profile. One was a live version of new song "Sometimes", the other a cover of "Let's Do It Again". A further two new songs surfaced in 2009, "Beautiful" and "Surely Shawty", although neither saw an official release.

She has toured every year since her debut album was released. In March 2008, she toured Europe with Bahamadia and Hezekiah for the "Philly Sounds" tour. Wright did not perform any new material on the tour, but did live cover versions of Cherrelle's "Saturday Love" and Crystal Waters' "Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)". During the tour, Wright announced that she was in the process of writing a novel, and working on a third album. No release dates have been confirmed for either as yet.
In 2008, she supplied backing vocals for Al Green's album Lay It Down.
In January 2011, Jaguar Wright toured Europe with Lady Alma on the "Philly Sounds 2011" tour. She revealed that she was working on a third album, due out in the summer of 2011, the lead single from the new album to be called "Switch".
In the summer of 2012, she assembled a "rock & soul band" of seasoned Philadelphia musicians called The W.E. ft. Jaguar Wright. The W.E. (an acronym for "The Wright Experience") had its debut performance in October 2012.

Gerald Veasley

Gerald Veasley’s musical odyssey has taken him to the top of the contemporary music world as a bassist, bandleader, composer, producer and educator. He has recorded and/or performed with many of the world’ stop performers in many genres of music such as; Chuck Loeb, Maysa, Kim Waters, Nick Colionne, Special EFX, Pieces of a Dream, McCoy Tyner, Gerald Levert, Teddy Pendergrass, Nnenna Freelon, Philip Bailey, the Dixie Hummingbirds, John Blake, Phil Perry, Will Downing and Pat Martino. His performance as a bassist has been top shelf, as his memorable work with the late, great Grover Washington Jr., Joe Zawinul, and the Jaco Pastorius Big Band attests.
When not collaborating with notable artists, Gerald tours and records with his band, which features some of the top musicians in the country. Gerald’s recordings as a bandleader are: Look Ahead, Signs, Soul Control, Love Letters, On The Fast Track, Velvet, Live at The Jazz Base, Your Move and The Electric Mingus Project.
Veasley teaches the history and fundamentals of the electric bass to musicians and educators, both privately and at the university level. He is on the faculty of the University of the Arts (Philadelphia) and is founder and artistic director of Gerald Veasley’s Bass BootCamp, nurturing a growing army of bassists from all skill levels.
Gerald is currently curator of the “Unscripted Jazz Series” with special guests such as Kirk Whalum, Raul Midón, Alex Bugnon, Maysa and Gerald Albright. He is in the process of producing two projects, “The Purple House” and songs from his musical ties to Philadelphia. Whether he is performing, recording, collaborating, or teaching, Gerald brings a joyous, polished professionalism to the process of making music.

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