The Rise and Fall of Nina Simone: Montreux, 1976
A screening and live performance curated by Tom Blunt.
Long before Lady Gaga erased the line between pop music and performance art and decades before Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse left crowds shaking their heads in laughter or concern, there was the legendary Nina Simone. On July 3rd 1976, Simone stepped onto the stage of the Montreux Jazz Festival after a two-year hiatus in Africa. Belligerent, beguiling and admittedly "half high", Simone gave the Swiss audience a searingly vulnerable musical set, liberally spiced with bizarre musings, forgotten lyrics, fits of temper and querulous shout-outs to her dear (but sadly, absent) friend, David Bowie. The filmed performance has become a cult sensation on DVD, but only when re-created with a live (and preferably, drinking) audience can this goldmine of comedy, tragedy and musical brilliance be fully appreciated.
This two-hour showcase is a bipolar evening of music, laughter and indoctrination into the ever-growing cult of Nina, including bonus video clips, games, historical re-enactments and a special tribute performance by Joe's Pub cabaret idol Roslyn Hart (The Shells Show). Curated by Tom Blunt.
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