Culture Poetry

Cabaret for Freedom

A Celebration of the Life and Work of Nina Simone

  • 24
  • Oct




Stanley Chow illustration of songwriter and performer Nina Simone© Stanley Chow

In this special showcase of poetry and music we celebrate the life and work of cultural icon Nina Simone. A multi-talented musician, singer-songwriter and civil rights activist, Simone’s repertoire encompassed jazz, blues, gospel, folk and protest music. Akilah Akinola, Malika Booker, Ellouise Bridge, Zena Edwards, Shirley May, Ugochi Nwaogwugwu, SHAR and Young Identity will pay tribute to Nina Simone and perform work inspired by her legacy.

Malika Booker is a British poet of Guyanese and Grenadian parentage and the founder of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen. Her first poetry collection Pepper Seed was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre prize in 2014.

Ellouise Bridge is a professional backing singer who recently lent her smooth vocals to albums by Paul Heaton and Jackie Abbott. She wowed audiences at last year’s Cabaret for Freedom with her beautiful rendition of gospel songs.

Zena Edwards fuses poetry and world music to create highly original sound art. She has toured a one-woman show, Broken Words and produced two CDs (Healing Pool and Mine 4 Life).

SHAR (Charlotte Barber) is a songwriter/composer and producer. Her electronic soul pop has been influenced by R&B and trip-hop bands of the 90s and 00s. Her latest track GIRL features on local radio top playlists.

Shirley May is the director of Young Identity and has been supporting young people to find their voice for the past eighteen years. Her debut collection She Wrote Her Own Eulogy is published by Wrecking Ball Press.

Ugochi Nwaogwugwu is a Nigerian-American poet, musician, playwright, activist, racial healing practitioner and founder of Spirit Speaks. She has produced, written and co-arranged three highly acclaimed albums: African Buttafly, A.S.E. (Afro Soul Effect) and Love Shot.

Young Identity is a dynamic collective of Manchester-based spoken word artists. They have performed all over the UK and internationally, alongside the likes of Saul Williams, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Kae Tempest and Amiri Baraka.

This event is presented in partnership with Young Identity and St John's Church and supported by Arts Council England, Trafford Housing Trust and the Church of England Diocese.

This event will be captioned.

Approximate running time 60 minutes

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