Nina Simone's Musical Influences and Inspirations.  

Nina Simone drew inspiration from a diverse array of musical influences, shaping her unique style and artistic expression. Here are eight points highlighting some of her key influences: 

Simone received formal training in classical piano from a young age, and classical music remained a significant influence throughout her career. She incorporated elements of classical composition and technique into her jazz and soul arrangements, adding depth and complexity to her music. 

Simone was deeply influenced by pioneering jazz musicians such as Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and Thelonious Monk. She admired their innovation, improvisation, and emotional depth, incorporating elements of jazz into her own performances and compositions. 

Simone's music was infused with the soulful sounds of the blues tradition, which she embraced as a vehicle for expressing raw emotion and social commentary. She drew inspiration from blues artists like Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, and Lead Belly, infusing her own music with their spirit and intensity. 

Growing up in the church, Simone was deeply influenced by the uplifting sounds of gospel music. She drew on the spiritual power and emotional resonance of gospel music in her own performances, infusing her music with elements of gospel harmony and fervor. 

Simone's music reflected her deep connection to African-American folk traditions, including spirituals, work songs, and protest music. She drew inspiration from the rich musical heritage of her culture, incorporating themes of struggle, resilience, and liberation into her songs. 

Simone was deeply influenced by the Civil Rights Movement and became an outspoken advocate for racial equality and social justice. Her music often served as a rallying cry for the movement, drawing inspiration from the activism and resistance of the era. 

Overall, Nina Simone's musical influences were wide-ranging and eclectic, reflecting her diverse background, interests, and artistic vision. She drew inspiration from classical, jazz, blues, gospel, folk, and world music traditions, infusing her own music with passion, soul, and social consciousness. 

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