Whitaker Center is currently CLOSED due to public health concerns surrounding COVID-19. We will reopen soon! Read More »
Whitaker Center
Central PA’s Nonprofit Center for the Arts

Gerald Veasley's Unscripted Jazz Series

Featuring Carol Riddick and Gerald Veasley

February 22, 2020
7:30 PM - 11:00 PM

The Unscripted Jazz Series presents contemporary jazz artists in a format that allows them to stretch and show their talents to the fullest.  The Unscripted format has attracted some of the top names in the genre including Gerald Albright, Alex Bugnon, Kirk Whalum, Jeff Lorber, Keiko Matsui, Edge Groove, Nick Colionne, and Rick Braun, who have enjoyed the opportunity to satisfy their audiences in an intimate setting while serving up musical surprises.

“I Got Life: The Music of Nina Simone” pairs two legends of jazz and soul music to celebrate an iconic artist.  The act, consisting of vocals and three instrumentalists, has performed in many festivals, jazz clubs and churches to a sold-out crowds.

“I feel more alive now that I ever in my life. I have a chance to live, as I’ve dreamed. I got Life.” Nina Simone

More than a concert, I Got Life is a an event that explores the powerful music and empowering messages of Nina Simone. The presentation moves through four aspects of Ms. Simone’s songbook: Quest, Passion, Fury and Hope. Vocalist Carol Riddick and bassist Gerald Veasley lead an ensemble that re-imagines Nina Simone’s work with inventive energy.

While the world is re-discovering the brilliance of Nina Simone, we have known it all along. We have long been a student of her music and have been inspired by her life story. Veasley recognized Carol’s potential for channeling Nina Simone before the two even spoke. Says Veasley, “I knew Carol had that same intensity and passion before I heard her sing a note of Nina Simone’s music.” Together they now share a deep appreciation for Ms. Simone’s music and her desire for social justice. As a result, “I Got Life” speaks to our current turbulent times with honesty and raw beauty. Veasley and Riddick understand there is no better time to present this timeless music.

Gerald Veasley

Gerald Veasley’s musical odyssey has taken him to the top of the contemporary music world as a bassist, bandleader, composer, producer and educator. He has recorded and/or performed with many of the world’ stop performers in many genres of music such as; Chuck Loeb, Maysa, Kim Waters, Nick Colionne, Special EFX, Pieces of a Dream, McCoy Tyner, Gerald Levert, Teddy Pendergrass, Nnenna Freelon, Philip Bailey, the Dixie Hummingbirds, John Blake, Phil Perry, Will Downing and Pat Martino. His performance as a bassist has been top shelf, as his memorable work with the late, great Grover Washington Jr., Joe Zawinul, and the Jaco Pastorius Big Band attests.

 Gerald is currently curator of the “Unscripted Jazz Series” with special guests such as Kirk Whalum, Raul Midón, Alex Bugnon, Maysa and Gerald Albright.  He is in the process of producing an album of Nina Simone’s music to add to his rich repertoire.  Whether he is performing, recording, collaborating, or teaching, Gerald brings a joyous, polished professionalism to the process of making music.

 Carol Riddick

This sultry songstress/songwriter has graced stages from her hometown of Philadelphia and across the globe, winning fans and admirers with her extraordinary voice and presence. Highly regarded in the music community for her vocal dexterity, mesmerizing performances and genuinely warm personality, Carol is a unique entertainer whose evolution is ongoing.  

 Her beautiful spirit, sensuous stage shows and passionate vocal delivery will surely soothe your ears and alter your spirit in the most alluring way.

 Performance Theater 

Sponsored by

Supported by Lois Lehrman Grass Endowment


Sign up for our email newsletters and be the first to know about Whitaker Center events all year long!

Whitaker Center

The Best Performance, Science and Cinema Space in PA

Sign Up Now to be the first to hear about the most exciting things happening at the Whitaker Center.