Photo Session (the first in ten years)

Diva shot red boa Photo: John Gress

Had a photo shoot today with the AMAZING John Gress. I was so nervous. What to bring? What to wear? Will I have enough energy to come across on film? Will I look like crap? But John is such a dear and so patient and enthusiastic- all was well. And I had a blast. Thanks to Lovely Marcus, make-up/hair/wardrobe/BFF Brayzill Stevenson or none of this would have happened! Here’s a sample of one look. (untouched) Can’t wait to post the final images!!

Onward to new branding, new images, new everything!

“Sometimes you have to hum a Negro Spiritual to keep from killing somebody…”

“Sometimes you have to hum a Negro Spiritual to keep from killing somebody…” — Wanda Sykes. You know what I mean.


I have decided to live in kindness and love today. I have witnessed words of anger, fear, intolerance and ignorance. I have been forced to reevaluate friendships based on my friends adherence to views that are diametrically opposed to my own. I try to see it from their side but I can’t help feeling shock and disappointment. I do not want to end friendships based on politics but this season is about more than public policy, it’s about Human Nature and decency. Was their bigotry some latent part of their souls that suddenly burst forth wth this past election? Was this lack of empathy and closed mindedness always there waiting for an outlet? Do they really not see the correlation?

Who knows?

“I would not open windows into men’s souls.”

I can only hold true to my beliefs and trust my open heart to feel a kinship with all of my fellow Humans and continue to fight alongside my like-minded folks… It’s a simple fact: As long as any of us suffer from the pain of oppression and loss of basic Human rights, none of us are free.

This New Administration is Wearing Me Out! (and it’s only been a week!)

The never-ending crazy coming from Washington is driving me nuts! The collective emotions brought on by the actions of this administration is stressful: Fear, disgust, horror, anger, outrage, shock – it goes on and on. I hope that we all remain diligent and never succumb to acceptance and resignation. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride. Together we can weather this storm. But Lawdy, it’s exhausting and it’s only been a week!!

Fighting Despair as We Face a Trump Presidency.

I am at a loss for words regarding today’s transition in the White House. As I face the exit of President Barack Obama and his lovely family, I am fighting the urge to fall into despair. I have heard from many friends who are dreading this new presidency with an overwhelming sense of fear and trepidation. Many refer to Trump’s presidency as “the end of the world.” We are forced to endure a “wait and see” approach to this whole deal. I keep trying to fathom a glimmer of something other than catastrophe regarding this new regime, but with each Cabinet confirmation hearing I am further horrified and my attempts at being positive get thrown out the window.

The world looked at our country with new eyes when we elected Barack Obama. I remember a conversation with a German national at an airport in Stockholm. President Obama had just been elected. He said:
This could only happen in America. It’s wonderful to witness!” I was just about to go into a rant about all the opposition he was facing, but decided to revel in the pride I felt after his compliment. I wonder what he would say now? My only consolation is that we aren’t the only country to have elected a fool to the highest office. There is that. And to be truthful, this backlash we witnessed in this past election came as no real surprise to me.

I keep trying to put myself in the other guy’s shoes, Continue reading ›

Farewell Mr. President.

Wept myself into a headache. I have never felt a sense of loss and sadness like I do right now as I watch our beloved President & First Lady say farewell. But I am grateful that he will be close by. Yes we can.

Fasten your Seatbelts, it’s gonna be a bumpy four years.

I have never felt the loss of an outgoing President and First Lady more in my life. I talk to my friends and family and they are genuinely frightened and dreading this new regime. I try to be hopeful and accepting but there is a constant feeling of dread of the unknown and I can’t help feeling that I am being naive when I try to be optimistic. All I keep thinking is this line from All About Eve:
“Fasten your seatbelts, it’s gonna be a bumpy night!”

The New President.

The thing is: Trump can’t save them. There is no real going back. The fear that drove many to vote for this man is based in truth. The world has changed. People have opened their hearts and minds and welcomed a Global community. Technology has changed the way the economy works and has left many in the economic dust. The election of our first African American president woke the beast, His reelection set the beast on his feet and Trump gave him the ability to walk again. Was this not the country that once sanctioned slavery? Was this not the country that denied – by law -the freedom of women and minorities? This is not a setback. It’s a cycle. It’s a backlash, but in the end, this election has set afire to our commitment to justice, kindness and empathy. We will fight for what is right and win again as soon as we get over this shock. But honestly, I am not totally shocked. I recognized some of those people in the Trump rallies. They were the same spirits that enslaved my ancestors. They were the same spirits that wore hoods, burned crosses and terrorized my mother in her childhood. I will not despair. I will count on all of us – the people of goodwill – to be alert and be willing to fight – not amongst ourselves but for the cause of peace, empathy, goodwill and justice. No more complacency during this presidency. We have four years to get it together. We know the drill. Let’s see what this fool is really going to do.

Tonight’s the Night!

Life was simpler then.

It’s Monday and in ten hours I will be hitting the stage with the return of my Nina Simone show at City Winery Chicago. I have NO idea how many tickets have sold. I checked a week and a half ago and the low sales frightened me. The venue seemed secure that the show will sell well. Of course I am not so sure. I never am. Folks say: “you always sell out!” “You always pack the house!” I never count on that. I push, push, push the show until I am crazy. But you never know …

Dress is laid out. Jewelry is chosen. (where’s my purple necklace?) My make-up artist Brayzill stands ready at 5pm.

We rehearsed last night and I feel good about the show. I always feel good when I sing Nina’s music.

Here’s hoping for a near sell-out. Or at least 200 people. The venue holds 300.

OY! My nerves.
Tickets to My Nina Simone Show Tonight Monday, Nov 7th

No More Fussing About this Election. Only Love today.

Photo: Terrell Clark

I am not spending another minute fussing about this election. Today, I am going to spread love and laughter and continue building excitement for my show tomorrow night at City Winery Chicago. (shameless plug: I sing Nina Simone at City Winery, showtime is 8pm I will include a link for tickets) It’s what I do. I sing. I express myself and my shows are a time for celebration and joy and dancing and maybe a few tears. My intention is to make people feel good. Everyone: do something, say something to spread some love today. Give a compliment; hold the door open for someone; tell someone that you love them; smile and say “Good Morning” to a stranger. Just be nice. Don’t lose faith & hope for this world. We are all in this together. And don’t forget to VOTE. My show info & tickets: