Gerald Veasley's Unscripted Jazz presents
Jaguar Wright and Gerald Veasley - Got Life- The Music of Nina Simone, Jaguar Wright, Gerald Veasley Live at South
600 N Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19130
Doors 6:00 PM / Show 7:00 PM (event ends at 8:15 PM)
Watch & Listen
Jaguar Wright and Gerald Veasley - 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 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".
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 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 Live at South
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 top shelf, as his extensive body of work attests. Veasley has recorded or performed with many of the world’s top artists in Jazz, R&B and Gospel: Kirk Whalum, Will Downing, Chuck Loeb, Maysa, Nnenna Freelon, Special EFX, Pieces of a Dream, McCoy Tyner, The Jaco Pastorius Big Band, Gerald Levert, Teddy Pendergrass, Philip Bailey, the Dixie Hummingbirds, John Blake, Odean Pope and Pat Martino.
Veasley’s new recording, Live at SOUTH is the latest chapter of a multi-decade career of combining jazz, funk and soul genres into a tantalizing blend of earthy sophistication. Schooled by his mentors Joe Zawinul of Weather Report fame and saxophone giant Grover Washington Jr., the six-string bassist continues to blur musical boundaries with his latest project. As the title suggests, Live at SOUTH was captured live at South Jazz Parlor, a premier jazz venue, located in Veasley’s hometown of Philadelphia. The recording documents Veasley’s outstanding band in a 10 song set of music that is fresh, in-the-moment and crackling with intensity. The songstress Carol Riddick is featured in a breathtaking version of the Sound of Philly classic, “You are Everything”.
Live at SOUTH is also the natural outgrowth of Veasley’s role as a curator of the Unscripted Jazz Series at SOUTH Jazz Parlor. Launched in October 2015 (co- curated by Roxanne Veasley), the series has presented over 140 exciting nights of music to enthusiastic audiences in an intimate setting. The "Unscripted” format is perfectly suited for artists who, like Veasley, have broad musical tastes and experiences. Allowing them to showcase their versatility, the series has attracted many celebrated guest artists: Gerald Albright, David Benoit, Rick Braun, Randy Brecker, Alex Bugnon, Maysa, Raul Midón, Janis Siegel, Peter White, Kirk Whalum, and a growing roster of established and emerging artists.
Having a passion to educate and motivate other musicians, Veasley has served on the faculty of the University of the Arts (Philadelphia). Veasley is also the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Gerald Veasley’s Bass BootCamp. Established in 2002, the annual event has informed and inspired hundreds of bass players of all levels and ages.
Veasley has more intriguing projects on the horizon: “I Got Life”, a studio album and tour in tribute to the life and music of Nina Simone, an all-star album celebrating the musical legacy of his hometown of Philadelphia, and a spinoff of the Unscripted Jazz Series, Pablo Batista’s Latin Jazz Series.
Musician. Educator. Curator. Veasley’s life as a creative professional is clearly multifaceted. Indeed, he wears various “hats” yet he is motivated by a singular purpose - to translate his joy of music to the world - music without boundaries.