Carol Riddick & Gerald Veasley


Carol Riddick
Gerald Veasley
Aaron Graves
Tim Hutson


“I Got Life: The Music of Nina Simone” pairs two legends of jazz and soul music to celebrate an iconic artist. The act, consisting of vocals and three instrumentalists, has performed in many festivals, jazz clubs and churches to a sold-out crowds.

“I feel more alive now that I ever in my life. I have a chance to live, as I’ve dreamed. I got Life.” Nina Simone

More than a concert, I Got Life is a an event that explores the powerful music and empowering messages of Nina Simone. The presentation moves through four aspects of Ms. Simone’s songbook: Quest, Passion, Fury and Hope. Vocalist Carol Riddick and bassist Gerald Veasley lead an ensemble that re-imagines Nina Simone’s work with inventive energy.

Why “The Music of Nina Simone”?

While the world is re-discovering the brilliance of Nina Simone, we has known it all along. We have long been a student of her music and has been inspired by her life story. Veasley recognized Carol’s potential for channeling Nina Simone before the two even spoke. Says Veasley, “I knew Carol had that same intensity and passion before I heard her sing a note of Nina Simone’s music.” Together they now share a deep appreciation for Ms. Simone’s music and her desire for social justice. As a result, “I Got Life” speaks to our current turbulent times with honesty and raw beauty. Veasley and Riddick understand there is no better time to present this timeless music.

Talent Buyer Quotes

“Carol Riddick and Gerald Veasley bring Nina Simone’s music to life with their mesmerizing performance. Carol’s emotional vocals backed by Gerald’s powerful musicianship keep audiences on the edge of their seats from the first to last note. I Got Life: The Music of Nina Simone is a must-see concert.” – John Ernesto, General Manager, Berks Jazz Fest

“Fantastic fabulous and incredibly meaningful…The folks are still talking about it. Generator or no generator you guys brought the Energy…” – Marko Marcinko, Talent Buyer Scanton Jazz Fest

The Ensemble

This is a musical conversation between two seasoned artists: an accomplished jazz musician and a fiery soul singer.  The group is rounded out by Aaron Graves, a keyboardist who served as Little Jimmy Scott’s musical director and Tim Hutson, a standout musician among the new wave of drummers.  Together they present the songbook in organic, dynamic arrangements that are fresh yet maintain the essence of the original versions


  • Track record of sold-out jazz festivals and clubs, and medium sized concert halls
  • Strong promotional support team 
  • Resurgent interest in the life and music of Nina Simone
  • European record release scheduled for 2023

Gerald Veasley’s musical odyssey has taken him to the top of the contemporary music world as a bassist, bandleader, composer, producer and educator. He has recorded and/or performed with many of the world’ stop performers in many genres of music such as; Chuck Loeb, Maysa, Kim Waters, Nick Colionne, Special EFX, Pieces of a Dream, McCoy Tyner, Gerald Levert, Teddy Pendergrass, Nnenna Freelon, Philip Bailey, the Dixie Hummingbirds, John Blake, Phil Perry, Will Downing and Pat Martino. His performance as a bassist has been top shelf, as his memorable work with the late, great Grover Washington Jr., Joe Zawinul, and the Jaco Pastorius Big Band attests.

When not collaborating with notable artists, Gerald tours and records with his band, which features some of the top musicians in the country. Gerald’s recordings as a bandleader are: Look Ahead, Signs, Soul Control, Love Letters, On The Fast Track, Velvet, Live at The Jazz Base, Your Move and The Electric Mingus Project.

Veasley teaches the history and fundamentals of the electric bass to musicians and educators, both privately and at the university level.  He has served on the faculty of the University of the Arts (Philadelphia) and is founder and artistic director of Gerald Veasley’s Bass BootCamp, nurturing a growing army of bassists from all skill levels.

Gerald is currently curator of the “Unscripted Jazz Series” with special guests such as Kirk Whalum, Raul Midón, Alex Bugnon, Maysa and Gerald Albright.  He is in the process of producing an album of Nina Simone’s music to add to his rich repertoire.  Whether he is performing, recording, collaborating, or teaching, Gerald brings a joyous, polished professionalism to the process of making music.

Carol Riddick – this sultry songstress/songwriter has graced stages from her hometown of Philadelphia and across the globe, winning fans and admirers with her extraordinary voice and presence. Highly regarded in the music community for her vocal dexterity, mesmerizing performances and genuinely warm personality, Carol is a unique entertainer whose evolution is ongoing.  

Born and raised in South Philadelphia, music has been a part of her life since she was a teenager. It was in her early adulthood that the industry took notice of her vocal talent when she got her start touring with Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff. Since then, Carol has blessed the tracks of many distinguished artists. She is featured on records by Anthony Hamilton, Jill Scott, Norman Brown, Kindred The Family Soul and a host of others. Most notably, her distinct vocal delivery can be heard on Musiq’s “Soulstar”, the title track on his multi-platinum album. 

Carol has collaborated with GRAMMY award winning producers and songwriters including James Poyser (Erykah Badu, The Roots), Anthony Bell (Jill Scott, Jewel), and Carvin Haggins & Ivan Barias (Musiq, Faith Evans). Carol’s fondness for the Philly International and Motown recordings on which she grew up is reflected in her debut album, “Moments Like This”, which carries on the tradition of music that moves people. Her Sophomore project “Love Phases” which includes the soul stirring single “Love Like I’ve Never Been Hurt Before” is a collection of songs expressing facets of the joy and hurt of love; whether it be with regard to romantic or self-love. In addition to her solo efforts, Carol has also lent her impressive background vocal ability to musically acclaimed R&B crooner and Prince of Sophisticated Soul, Will Downing’s, live performances. Her performance of the riveting duet “Nothing Has Ever Felt”, originally recorded by Will Downing and the incomparable Rachelle Ferrell, is sure to take your breath away.  

Her beautiful spirit, sensuous stage shows and passionate vocal delivery will surely soothe your ears and alter your spirit in the most alluring way.


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