Bessie, Billie, & Nina
Pioneering Women in Jazz
About the event
Produced by Grammy®-winning Eli Wolf (Norah Jones, Cassandra Wilson), and with arrangements by pianist and musical director Carmen Staff (Dee Dee Bridgewater), Bessie, Billie, & Nina — Pioneering Women in Jazz features three dynamic vocalists, each a rising star in her own right. Charenée Wade and Camille Thurman are both regular performers with Jazz at Lincoln Center and Tahira Clayton is co-leader of Women in Jazz Organization. Presented in affiliation with WIJO and backed by an all-female band, Wade, Thurman, and Clayton celebrate the enduring legacies of Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, and Nina Simone with performances of classic songs by these iconic women and artists, including Bessie’s “Downhearted Blues,” Billie’s “Strange Fruit,” and Nina’s “Mississippi Goddam.”
The musical and social legacies of Bessie, Billie, and Nina remain as relevant as ever. Their contributions resonate with today’s artists across many genres, as well as with ongoing movements toward progress and equality for women, African Americans, and the LGBTQIA+ community. Bessie, Billie, & Nina will entertain, inspire, and empower audiences during this pivotal time in our own history.