“I feel my origins deeply,” Nina Simone once said. “My art is anchored in the culture of my people, and I am immensely proud.” Proud and defiant. As this 1965 Dutch television performance illustrates, Simone carried the Civil Rights Movement with her wherever she went.
One place where Simone performed in 1965 was at the Mickery Theater in Loenersloot, Holland, a village just outside Amsterdam. Dutch public television was there to film the show, which is now included in the Jazz Icons DVD Nina Simone Live in ’65 and ’68. In the 40-minute set, shown above, Simone is joined by Lisle Atkinson on bass, Rudy Stevenson on guitar and Bobby Hamilton on drums. The classically trained Simone plays piano and sings seven songs, each one dealing in some way with issues of racial, gender or economic injustice:
Brown Baby Four Women The Ballad of Hollis Brown Tomorrow is My Turn Images Go Limp Mississippi Goddam