Tomorrow March 15th, 2:00pm at the Rady JCC, the Music 'N' Maven’s Concert Series will present the Monika Wall Ensemble. Monica Wall is an amazing jazz singer that draws on gospel, blues, folk and jazz, to create shows that truly should not be missed!  Tomorrow, she will performing songs made famous by the great American singer, song writer, and civil rights activist Nina Simone.

Known for her sultry contralto voice, and her fantastic piano playing, Simone grew up in North Carolina. She was a classically trained pianist, who struggled to deal with the hurdles of poverty and the prevalence of Jim Crow laws in the American South. She succeeded in overcoming these obstacles, and was admitted to the Julliard School.

To help make ends meet Simone started playing jazz Piano in Atlantic City. The booker told her she needed to sing as well as play piano to keep her gig. This combination of expert piano playing, with her distinctive voice would end up launching her career as a jazz pianist and vocalist. However, as Monika Wall states, “in her mind (Simone) she saw herself as a classical pianist.”

Nina Simone has been a fascination for Wall. “Her voice is just haunting…it’s got a quality that really, the second you hear that first note you know this is Nina Simone.”

Wall will be joined by some of Winnipeg’s finest Jazz musicians, for this concert. The band consists of Jonathan Alexiuk on piano, Richard Gillis on trumpet, Matt Kozicki on bass, and Jim Johnston on drums.

The Monika Wall ensemble will be playing off Nina Simone’s own arrangements, and will open up the tunes for solos performed by these fantastic musicians.

This is a concert for anyone who loves great jazz, and who wants to see the music of Nina Simone as interpreted by one of the best Jazz singers on today’s scene Monika Wall…truly a concert not to be missed!

This Music “N” Mavens concert takes place tomorrow March 15th, at 2:00pm at the Rady JCC which is located at 123 Doncaster Street.