Jamison Ross Announces Nina Simone Tribute Performances, New LP

By Geraldine Wyckoff

Since the start of his career in music, Jamison Ross has garnered highly coveted accolades that attest to his abilities as a drummer and vocalist and, ultimately, a jazz musician. He was the winner of the 2012 Thelonius Monk Jr. International Jazz competition and has received a Grammy nomination for his self-titled album released in 2015.

Ross will release a follow-up to Jamison entitled All For One, set to debut in late January. The album release will trail behind tribute performances to the late, great vocalist and pianist Nina Simone for four nights: Tuesday, January 2 through Saturday, January 6 at the Little Gem Saloon. He’ll lead a trio with pianist Shea Pierre and bassist Max Moran to honor Simone, who will be posthumously inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

It is quite fitting that Ross would dedicate his second album release to the legendary Simone; although seemingly worlds apart, the two artists share a humble beginning. Like Ross, Simone started her musical journey performing at her local church. Demonstrating talent at an early age, she then went on to study music in her elementary and university years. Ross, too, obtained his Master of Music from the University of New Orleans.

Perhaps Ross feels some connection to Simone in this way, or perhaps it is simply a connection through musical similarities: both artists are known for their soulful, melodic vocals. Simone’s style has been described as a fusion of gospel, pop and classical, while Ross “grew up in a saturated church and music environment.”  

Regardless of the similarities, it is a given that Ross has the utmost respect for the icons that come before his time. The tribute, and album release, shall be nothing short of legendary in its own right. Tickets for all of the shows are available here and are $10.

Ray NelsonOffbeat Magazine