ST. PETERSBURG – With an independent spirit and a message of the moment, Grammy Award-winning Ledisi will perform on Wednesday, January 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., Saint -Petersburg.
Tickets start at $ 45.50. Visit TheMahaffey.com.
Featuring “Ledisi Sings Nina”, the concert follows the release of her 2021 album of the same name.
This homage to Ledisi’s “Shero”, Nina Simone, features seven songs of social and personal significance from Simone’s famous songbook. “Ledisi Sings Nina” is a finely crafted, arrangement-oriented collection recorded in the Netherlands, Los Angeles, London and New Orleans before and after the onset of the pandemic. It balances the upbeat energy of a big band with an atmospheric ballad and attention to historical detail that manages to update music for a modern hip-hop / R&B era. With Ledisi’s voice prowess, Simone’s music messages – of personal empowerment and collective protest – retain relevance for a BLM generation facing the same difficult challenges and bitter struggles of the 1960s.
The performances on “Ledisi Sings Nina” find the singer enjoying prominent support in a variety of settings: the majority of the tracks feature the world-renowned Metropole Orkest conducted by Jules Buckley with arrangements by Jochen Neufer, and others. “I’m Going Back Home” features the All-Star New Orleans Jazz Orchestra conducted by Adonis Rose. “Four Women” is powered by Ledisi in the company of three equally authoritative singers: Lisa Fisher, Lizz Wright and Alice Smith. “Wild Is the Wind” – with Spanish guitar, piano and drums – is the album’s only live recording, taken from the PBS 2020 special “Ledisi Live: A Tribute to Nina Simone”.
“Ledisi Sings Nina” – the singer’s tenth album – crowns over a year of impressive achievement which includes a Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Performance with the single “Anything For You” in March 2021; featured in her first PBS TV special, “Ledisi Live: A Tribute to Nina Simone” in December 2020; perform as part of a cast of star artists and activists on HBO’s “Between the World and Me”, a poetic adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ groundbreaking book, in November 2020; and releasing the album “Wild Card”, the first recording on his own label Listen Back in August 2020.
Ledisi also published her second book, “Don’t Ever Lose Your Walk: How To Embrace Your Journey” on her Chinwe’ya Publishing imprint in January 2020.