Jazz fans will be able to learn about where late jazz artist Nina Simone was born - after it was announced that the birthplace and childhood home of Simone in North Carolina was to be revamped and named as a National Treasure.
The three-room, 660-square-foot home in Tryon, North Carolina was bought by a group of African American artists (back in 2017) in attempt to save the dilapidated house from being demolished.
Artists Adam Pendleton, sculptor and painter Rashid Johnson, filmmaker Ellen Gallagher, and abstract painter Julie Mehretu — raised $95,000 in order to buy the house from the state of North Carolina, but soon realised that it would cost much more to refurbish the small home of Simone.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation recently announced that the house was to be preserved as a national treasure, which would mean that the house would be revamped at an estimated cost of $250,000.
National Trust President and Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Meeks says both the trust and the home’s owners will work to honor Simone’s contributions to society and to “inspire new generations of artists and activists”, the Associated Press reported.
A ceremony was held to mark the decision, at which Simone’s sister, Frances Wayman, said to the press, “It's great to know that she's made such an impact. They still want to carry that forward for younger generations and ones after that. She was young, gifted and black. She was proud of heritage. She was proud of her blackness. She let that be known, and that is a good thing.”
Nina Simone was born Eunice Kathleen Wayman in 1933 in Tryon, North Carolina. Simone grew up and became a musician under the stage name Nina Simone.
Nicknamed the 'High Priestess of Soul', Simone introduced the world to a unique sound of music through the sounds of gospel, jazz, folk, classical and ballads, which she called 'Black Classical Music'. Simone was also a songwriter, pianist, arranger, and activist.
Simone passed away in 2003 at the age of 70, and is survived by her daughter, Lisa Simone Waymon Stroud.