Nina and Me: Ledisi Celebrates Nina Simone at the Apollo & Gabourey Sidibe’s Directorial Debut

On March 9th, The Apollo Theater presented a special one-night-only concert celebrating artist, activist and Apollo legend Nina Simone with Nina and Me: Ledisi Celebrates Nina Simone Live at the Apollo. Helmed by soulful singer/songwriter and 12- time GRAMMY Award ® Nominee, Ledisi, the evening featured Ledisi performing the timeless music of Nina Simone alongside some of her own, chart-topping hits with special guest performances by Patrice Rushen, Wé McDonald, Kimberly Nichole and Crystal Monee Hall. Eight-time GRAMMY Award ® Winner Gregg Field, (Ella 100: The Apollo celebrates Ella Fitzgerald; A Hot Time in Harlem – 70 Years at the Apollo Theater; The Kennedy Center Honors; The Grammy Hall of Fame Awards; Frank Sinatra, A Man and His Music) returned to the Apollo as concert producer.

The evening also included a special pre-show Screening of The Tale of Four.

Prior to the concert, ticket holders got a treat with a special screening of Gabourey Sidibe’s short film The Tale of Four, inspired by Nina Simone’s “Four Women.”  Sidibe’s directorial debut is a multi-layered story that spans one day in the life of four women who are connected through their quest for love, agency and redemption.

Starring Ledisi Young, Jussie Smollett, Phyllis Yvonne Stickney, Aisha Hinds, Dana Gourrier, and Meagan Kimberly Smith this 20-minute film interweaves four stories of multi-faceted African American women whose lives converge one fateful day through unheralded acts of bravery. As a director, Sidibe touches on the importance of bringing black women together on screen, at a poignant time where people are demanding a dialogue on race relations in our country.

The Tale of Four is produced in partnership with Refinery29’s Shatterbox short film series which was born as a rallying cry to counteract the staggering data that proves the lack of female representation behind the camera in Hollywood. The film’s producers are Lisa Cortés, Kia Perry and Shannon Gibson.

 

Latoya Henry is the publisher and founder of Haute Giving: The Sexy Side of Philanthropy.