Lisa Simone's new album, IN NEED OF LOVE is her gift to a world in need of love. (2019 Elektra/Warner Music)
After a difficult childhood as the daughter of the jazz & soul icon and civil rights activist Nina Simone and her acting career – amongst others she won the Broadway Theatre Award for Best Actress – Lisa Simone found her way into the music business at a later time, but is already an absolute jazz and soul heavyweight who long since stepped out her mother’s shadow.
Since then she has gone from one success to another. Lisa Simone already enchanted the audience at highly acclaimed international festivals such as MONTREUX Jazz, OSLO Jazz, North Sea Jazz, Marciac, NISVILLE Jazz, Jazzopen Stuttgart.
Live Lisa Simone easily alternates between energetic and lively as well as calm and melancholic, making her concerts varied and always exciting that inevitably cast a spell on the audience. She is not afraid to sing and talk about her mother's most famous hits live, but she is still critical about her difficult relationship with her in her own songs. Due to her honest, authentic way Lisa Simone does not find it difficult to establish contact with the audience immediately. Towards the end of the concert, she likes to walk along the grandstand shaking hands and giving standing ovations. Together with her fantastic band, in which guitarist and arranger Hervé Samb stands out once again, Lisa Simone and her accompanying trio, wherever they perform, provide a first-class concert experience.
IN NEED OF LOVE secures Lisa's standing as a powerhouse vocalist, composer, and storyteller. On this album Lisa addresses personal experiences of abuse and reconciliation, celebration and healing. "Life is my wellspring of inspiration", she muses. Each song is filled with authentic soul, and grooves so tight one cannot deny that the Simone Legacy continues in a whole new way. The twelve compositions were written and composed alongside her long time musical partner, Hervé Samb, the Senegalese child prodigy Master guitarist who, according to Lisa, "Can play anything!" Recorded at Studio La Fabrique in southern France, IN NEED OF LOVE is a testimony to standing tall in the midst of uncertainty, finding one's path, and alchemizing pain into joy. Lisa's long held prayer to "inspire love and positivity in others from the stage, through the example of her own life" continues to manifest, beautifully. From New York's Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, and Lincoln Center, to London's Royal Albert Hall, the Sidney Opera House, Hollywood Bowl, The Olympia in Paris, and major jazz festivals including Montreaux, Cully, Marciac, Montreal, North Sea, Telluride, and Vienne, Lisa Simone's charismatic personality and ability to inspire others through song has captured the hearts and souls of audiences worldwide.
After serving her country for more than 10 years in the United States Air Force, Lisa joined the chorus of Spanish Superstar, Raphael, touring throughout Spain and South America, for two years. From there, Lisa made her way into the theatrical world, debuting in the bus and truck touring company of Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley, and Carl Anderson, and then joining the original Broadway cast of the mega hit RENT, as a swing. At the same time Lisa originated the Disney roles of AIDA in AIDA, and NALA in LION KING. A year later, Lisa took out RENT's First National Tour in the role of Mimi Marquez, garnering nominations for both a Helen Hayes and Jefferson Awards for Best Actress.
While on hiatus from the theatre, Lisa joined the Chicago based acid jazz band LIQUID SOUL garnering a Grammy nomination for their album, HERE'S THE DEAL. In September 2000, Lisa joined the Original Broadway cast of AIDA as a stand by, and soon after took out the First National Tour in the title role of AIDA, the Nubian Princess, to much critical acclaim. Before returning to Broadway's Palace Theatre, Lisa won the NATIONAL THEATRE AWARD for Best Actress in a Musical voted on by fans nationwide.
In 2008, Lisa recorded SIMONE ON SIMONE, a Big Band tribute to her mother, Dr. Nina Simone. She proudly calls this album her 'tribute to the Great One who walked before me'. SIMONE ON SIMONE debuted at number 14 on the jazz charts. In 2009, Lisa joined the late ODETTA, TRACEY CHAPMAN, LIZ WRIGHT, and the late OSCAR BROWN JR in paying homage to her mother at the first SING THE TRUTH concert at New York's Carnegie Hall. This concert later went on tour with ANGELIQUE KIDJO, DIANNE REEVES and PATTI AUSTIN, together with Nina Simone's original band members throughout Europe and the South Pacific. In 2014, ALL IS WELL, Lisa's first self-penned album was released in France. It was followed by MY WORLD in 2016, and LIVE AT THE EDGE with THE TROMSØ BIG BAND - a live big band album recorded over two nights to sold out audiences in Tromsø Norway.