Nina Simone (1958)

In honor of Nina Simone’s birthday, born on this day in 1933, I present to you Nina Simone!

My Baby Just Cares for Me is a jazz standard written by Walter Donaldson with lyrics by Gus Kahn. Written for the film version of the musical comedy Whoopee! (1930), the song became a signature tune for Eddie Cantor who sang it in the movie. A stylized version of the song by Nina Simone, recorded in 1957, was a top 10 hit in the United Kingdom after it was used in a 1987 perfume commercial and resulted in a renaissance for Simone.

Nina Simone, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights activist. Her music spanned styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel and pop.

The sixth of eight children born to a poor family in Tryon, North Carolina, Simone initially aspired to be a concert pianist. With the help of a few supporters in her hometown, she enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. She then applied for a scholarship to study at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she was denied admission despite a well received audition, which she attributed to racism. In 2003, just days before her death, the Institute awarded her an honorary degree.

To make a living, Simone started playing piano at a nightclub in Atlantic City. She changed her name to “Nina Simone” to disguise herself from family members, having chosen to play “the devil’s music” or so-called “cocktail piano”. She was told in the nightclub that she would have to sing to her own accompaniment, which effectively launched her career as a jazz vocalist. She went on to record more than 40 albums between 1958 and 1974, making her debut with Little Girl Blue. She had a hit single in the United States in 1958 with “I Loves You, Porgy”. Her musical style fused gospel and pop with classical music, in particular Johann Sebastian Bach, and accompanied expressive, jazz-like singing in her contralto voice.

Happy Birthday, Nina Simone!

Nina Simone (1964)

Watch the visualizer for Riton’s Remix of See-Line Woman by Nina Simone from the album Feeling Good: Her Greatest & Remixes

In honor of Nina Simone’s birthday, born on this day in 1933, I present to you Nina Simone!

Originally known as Sea Lion Woman and popularized as See-Line Woman by Nina Simone, is a traditional African American folk song originally used as a children’s playground song.

Nina Simone, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights activist. Her music spanned styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel and pop.

The sixth of eight children born to a poor family in Tryon, North Carolina, Simone initially aspired to be a concert pianist. With the help of a few supporters in her hometown, she enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. She then applied for a scholarship to study at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she was denied admission despite a well received audition, which she attributed to racism. In 2003, just days before her death, the Institute awarded her an honorary degree.

To make a living, Simone started playing piano at a nightclub in Atlantic City. She changed her name to “Nina Simone” to disguise herself from family members, having chosen to play “the devil’s music” or so-called “cocktail piano”. She was told in the nightclub that she would have to sing to her own accompaniment, which effectively launched her career as a jazz vocalist. She went on to record more than 40 albums between 1958 and 1974, making her debut with Little Girl Blue. She had a hit single in the United States in 1958 with “I Loves You, Porgy”. Her musical style fused gospel and pop with classical music, in particular Johann Sebastian Bach, and accompanied expressive, jazz-like singing in her contralto voice.

Animated video directed by Sharon Liu and Aaron Lampert (2022).

Happy Birthday, Nina Simone!

Nina Simone (1965)

Watch the visualizer for Rudimental’s Remix of “Take Care Of Business” by Nina Simone from the album Feeling Good: Her Greatest & Remixes (2022)

In honor of Nina Simone’s birthday, born on this day in 1933, I present to you Nina Simone!

Nina Simone, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights activist. Her music spanned styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel and pop.

The sixth of eight children born to a poor family in Tryon, North Carolina, Simone initially aspired to be a concert pianist. With the help of a few supporters in her hometown, she enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. She then applied for a scholarship to study at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she was denied admission despite a well received audition, which she attributed to racism. In 2003, just days before her death, the Institute awarded her an honorary degree.

To make a living, Simone started playing piano at a nightclub in Atlantic City. She changed her name to “Nina Simone” to disguise herself from family members, having chosen to play “the devil’s music” or so-called “cocktail piano”. She was told in the nightclub that she would have to sing to her own accompaniment, which effectively launched her career as a jazz vocalist. She went on to record more than 40 albums between 1958 and 1974, making her debut with Little Girl Blue. She had a hit single in the United States in 1958 with “I Loves You, Porgy”. Her musical style fused gospel and pop with classical music, in particular Johann Sebastian Bach, and accompanied expressive, jazz-like singing in her contralto voice.

Animated video directed by Sharon Liu and Aaron Lampert (2022).

Happy Birthday, Nina Simone!

Jon Batiste (2021)

I decided to post this video just for the simple fact that Jon Batiste is one of the most animated characters I can think of. That, and we could all use a little FREEDOM!

Check out Jon Batiste on his website at https://www.jonbatiste.com/

New Orleans musician Jon Batiste just released his new song FREEDOM, and his video makes the streets of New Orleans sing.

Batiste, clad in a pink suit, gets New Orleans community members on their feet, singing and dancing throughout Treme, the Seventh Ward, City Park and under the Claiborne Expressway.

The St. Augustine Marching 100 were also prominently featured, which is where Batiste went to school.

Batiste’s music company tweeted the link to the music video Friday, calling it a “tribute to New Orleans.”

Batiste describes the song FREEDOM as “like an old movie,” comparing the likeness of the video’s movements to James Brown and Elvis.

“If you think about movies back in the day, you wouldn’t show a black man with a white woman, or you wouldn’t show a black relationship, or you wouldn’t show a woman in a certain role. That is our sexuality and how people are represented. That’s what people like James Brown, or when we saw Elvis with the twist in the hips, did. They were unlocking something in people that they were trying to hold in. These people became beacons of freedom, and you look at the way they move and the way that they express who they are onstage. That becomes the way that you want to be in life.”

Jon Batiste

When I move my body just like this
I don’t know why
But I feel like freedom (Freedom)
I hear a song that takes me back
And I let go with so much freedom (Freedom)
Free to live (how I wanna live)
I’m gon get (what i’m gonna get)
‘Cause it’s my freedom (Freedom)

I love how you talk
You speaking my language
The way that you walk
You can’t contain it
Is it the shoes
Jumped up, kangaroo
We’re overdue for a little more prancing

Now it’s your time
(It’s your right)
You can shine
(It’s alright)
If you do
I’ma do too

When I move my body just like this
I don’t know why
But I feel like freedom (Freedom)
I hear a song that takes me back
And I let go
With so much freedom (Freedom)
Free to live (How I wanna live)
I’m gon get (What I’m gonna get)
‘Cause it’s my freedom (Freedom)

The reason we get down, is to get back up
If someones around, Go on let them look
You can’t stand still
This ain’t no drill
More than cheap thrills, (Feels like money money money)

Now it’s your time
(It’s your right)
You can shine
(It’s alright)
If you do
I’ma do too

‘Cause when I look up to the stars (Stars)
I know exactly who we are (Ooh)
‘Cause then I see you shinin’
You shinin’
You shinin’ oh!

Free to be!
(Everybody come on) (Freedom!)
(Everybody come ‘round)
(Everybody come on)
(Everybody hit the floor)
Come on now!

I’m stuck to the dance floor
With the, with the whole tape
With the, with the, with the whole tape
(Let me see you wobble)
I’m stuck to the dance floor
With the, with the whole tape
With the, with the, with the whole tape
(Let me see you shake)
Give you just what you ask forgivin’ you the whole shake
I’ma give you the whole shake
(Let me see you wobble)
I’m stuck to the dance floor
With the, with the whole tape
With the, with the, with the whole tape
(Can you make it break?)

I say yeah (Yeah)
Oh yeah (Oh yeah)
(Let me see you wobble)
‘Cause, you do
I’ma do too

When I move my body just like this
I don’t know why
But I feel like freedom (Freedom)
I hear a song that takes me back
And I let go
With so much freedom (Freedom)
Free to live (How I wanna live)
I’m gon get (What I’m gonna get)
‘Cause it’s my freedom (Freedom)

FREEDOM is one of the songs on Jon Batiste’s new album We Are.

Leonard Cohen (2011)

Read more about Leonard Cohen’s The Flame: http://www.leonardcohenbook.com/

“There are very, very few people who occupy the ground that Leonard Cohen walks on.”

-Bono

The Flame is the final work from Leonard Cohen, the revered poet and musician whose fans span generations and whose work is celebrated throughout the world. Featuring poems, excerpts from his private notebooks, lyrics, and hand-drawn self-portraits, The Flame offers an unprecedentedly intimate look inside the life and mind of a singular artist.

A reckoning with a life lived deeply and passionately, with wit and panache, The Flame is a valedictory work.

“This volume contains my father’s final efforts as a poet. It was what he was staying alive to do, his sole breathing purpose at the end.

“Each page of paper that he blackened was lasting evidence of a burning soul.”

-Adam Cohen

Leonard Cohen died in late 2016.

Excerpted from Leonard Cohen’s Acceptance Address for the Prince of Asturias Award.

Animation by Astral Studio

Barnaby Dixon (2009)

A tale of how two “disgrega workers” react to the presence of a wild animal in their workshop.

Barnaby Dixon is a puppeteer, animator, musician, singer, YouTube star, and social media personality from Britain. He has garnered fame through his self-titled YouTube channel, on which he posts his puppet performances. His ongoing comedy/vlog series with a bird puppet named Dabchick has brought him widespread recognition.

Barnaby Dixon is a producer and director, known for Once Upon a Time in a Shed (2013), Eskos (2009), and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (2019).

Felix Colgrave (2020)

A little story about the backyard critters you might see in Tasmania, and the things they might be doing. https://www.patreon.com/felixcolgrave/

Felix Colgrave is an Australian director, animator, cartoonist, filmmaker, artist, and musician. Distribution of Colgrave’s work has, to date, been focused on YouTube where his channel has 1.38 million subscribers. Colgrave mainly uses Adobe After Effects for his animations.

Felix Colgrave (2014)

A film made by Felix Colgrave with elephants in it, and a bunch of other things too. This was his third year film at RMIT University, Bachelor of Animation and Interactive Media, and the winner of Best Australian Film at MIAF 2014.

Felix Colgrave is an Australian director, animator, cartoonist, filmmaker, artist, and musician. Distribution of Colgrave’s work has, to date, been focused on YouTube where his channel has 1.38 million subscribers. Colgrave mainly uses Adobe After Effects for his animations.