“Nina Simone” by Kate Shaffer
Artist: Kate Shaffer
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 36″ x 24″
Description: Nina Simone: born in 1933 taught herself to play the piano at age 3. By the time she hit adolescence she could play almost anything by ear. She took classical piano from a local teacher during high school. Awarded a scholarship by her community after graduating Valedictorian she applied to the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in PA. They turned her down, and Nina always thought it was because of her race. She taught music locally barely making ends meet. To supplement her income, she auditioned at a local bar and grill. Her sang songs from all genres and did her own arrangements. Her style developed into a fusion of jazz, blues and classical that she became known for. After one recording Nina became dissatisfied with the music world. She was shaken in 1962 with the death of Medgar Evers and the Birmingham murders and became very outspoken for civil rights. Her political stand cost her many bookings. She did another recording in 1978 with a full orchestra to do what ended up being her seminal work in 1978. Nina never liked it, but fans and critics alike raved. She took several years off after that and lived in Europe for almost 2 decades. Nina spoke on being a musician “to make people feel on a deep level. It’s difficult to describe because it’s not something you can analyze; to get near what it’s about you have to play it. And when you’ve caught it, when you’ve got the audience hooked, you always know because it’s like electricity hanging in the air.” Nina died in her sleep at her home in France in 2003.
Commission a smaller version, 16×20 for $700 each.