Video: Tribute concert held Saturday highlights Nina Simone’s musical legacy 

Published 8:49 pm Monday, May 2, 2022

TRYON–A large crowd of music-lovers enjoyed spectacular weather and fantastic performances Saturday evening at Roger’s Park, where they gathered to celebrate Tryon’s own Nina Simone. The Nina Simone Tribute Concert proved to be a success.


The lineup included Drea D’Nur, Ol’ 74 Jazz Band, Paul “Fingerstyle” Bowman, Jasme Kelly, Daryle Ryce and Zendetta, as well as Simone’s brother Sam “Magic Man” Wayman. Wayman accepted on Nina Simone’s behalf when she was inducted into the Rock & Roll hall of Fame in 2018, and is an award winning composer, musician, singer and pianist, and actor. The concert also featured John Oliver as emcee.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox


The sense of camaraderie and love of Nina Simone’s legacy was palpable Saturday evening.


Dr. Crys Armbrust, Chair of the Nina Simone Project, who organized the event, says “I’ve been told by many people that Saturday’s Nina Simone tribute was the best concert of popular music ever to have occurred in Tryon.”


“I was teary-eyed at several points in the evening,” he continued. “It was an incredible occurrence, and one toward which I’ve tried gently to steer our community towards for years.”


Of the diversity and enthusiasm of the audience, Dr. Ambrust said “The mix of beautiful faces in that sea of people in Rogers Park brought me to emotional overload. I am so utterly thankful to the unseen forces above that influenced the making of a real community event like this one to celebrate a native Tryon daughter, whose star shines as brightly as ever – Dr. Nina Simone, the High Priestess of Soul”


There were a host of businesses and groups that helped to make the event happen, including the Town of Tryon, the Wilcox on Melrose, Touring Logistics, Piano Emporium, Biscuit & Brew, Tryon Fine Arts Center, Tryon International Equestrian Center, Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina and Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. New View Realty served as the presenting corporate sponsor.

Video by Keva Creative / Tryon Daily Bulletin