Valerie Simpson to Receive Fisk Jubilee Singers Heritage Award

Congratulations to pianist, composer, songstress, diva, Valerie Simpson (of the dynamic duo "Ashford and Simpson") who has been selected to receive the Fisk Jubilee Singers Alumni Heritage Award in a special event to take place October 6th in the Fisk University Memorial Chapel. Valerie Simpson, along with her late husband Nick Ashford, composed and performed some of America's most recognizable tunes, including "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)," "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Solid As a Rock," "I'm Every Woman," among others. She will present a full concert as part of this fundraising event. Tickets can be purchased at the "FJSA Present The 2018 Heritage Award" Facebook group.

Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson
Jubilee Day is celebrated every year on October 6th, the anniversary of the start of the first fundraising tour of the Fisk Jubilee Singers in the fall of 1871. Founded in 1866, the Fisk Free Colored School was about to close its doors because of dire financial straits just five years later. The group of young students, most of whom were freed slaves, went on to sing for the crowned heads of Europe (including Queen Victoria, who was quoted as saying: "They sing so beautifully they must be from the Music City"). They were able to raise enough money from their concerts to keep Fisk's doors open, thus securing the future for one of America's oldest HBCUs.

Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson opened the Sugar Bar on West 72nd Street in Manhattan, where talented musicians still come to perform regularly. Valerie and I have shared many memorable moments there.

Valerie Simpson and Nina Kennedy


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