The nation -- and Tryon -- celebrate famed singer, musician, and activist Nina Simone
by Kristina Blackford
In 2006, the Eunice Waymon—Nina Simone Memorial Project was founded in Tryon “to honor the remarkable life, musical legacy and civil rights activism of Nina Simone, and to inspire and support talented youth to reach their full potential.”
Eunice Waymon, who took the stage name Nina Simone, had been born in the black section of Tryon to a church-going family. She was a musical prodigy, and white patrons noticed. In her singing career, she ranged from "Porgy and Bess" to civil rights folk songs and blues. See article about Simone's growing-up years.
The Memorial Project focuses on three projects:
Nadine Cohodas' biography of Simone, Princess Noire: The Tumultuous Reign of Nina Simone, was published in 2010. Princess Noire chronicles “the life of a performer whose music was always an extension of – and a response to – the world around her.” .
This year, Simone’s legacy is continuing worldwide with announcements of a movie based on Simone’s life; and the announcement of a Nina Simone song cover and remix project that will feature big names in music singing Simone’s tunes.