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Women of Note

Join the X this week for Kellylee Evans, a Canadian of Jamaican origin, whose tribute to late priestess of jazz and soul  Nina Simone succeeds in going beyond tribute to something fresh and utterly engaging, along with the silky steel poetry of Regina's Katherine Lawrence.


Evans is a Juno and Gemini Award nominee who received accolades for her first two albums, Fight or Flight and The Good Girl, which seamlessly fuse jazz and her own unique style of "soul pop". The music in today's broadcast comes from Nina, her new release, is a beautiful tribute to one of jazz's greatest vocalists and pianists, Nina Simone.

The Canadian singer was approached by French label Plus Loin Music, who had discovered her through her 2nd place win at the Thelonious Monk Jazz Vocals Competition. After several years of discussion, they invited her to France in November of 2009, where she spent two days in the studio. "They said I could do whatever I wanted as long as it was standards" Evans recalls. "I had always wanted to do a Nina Simone tribute. She was one of my mom's favourites, and my husband's, and I love her too. So I chose her and they were really gung ho."

Evans' love and respect for the original recordings of the music shines through, but, even in taking on some of Simone's most iconic repertoire, today's concert showcases Kellylee's own versatility, creativity and innate musicality.



Katherine Lawrence lives in Regina. Her poetry has appeared in numerous Canadian journals and anthologies. Her first book, Ring Finger, Left Hand (Coteau Books, 2001) won a Saskatchewan Book Award. Her second collection, Lying to Our Mothers, (Coteau Books, 2006) was a finalist in the 2006 Saskatchewan Book Awards.