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Drea d'Nur and Rootstock Republic

Dear Nina: A Sonic Love Letter to Nina Simone

October 20 @ 6:00 pm – October 20 @ 7:30 pm

With Drea d’Nur & Strings by Rootstock Republic

Sunday, October 20, 6 PM

Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center

Power, poise, and passion reign supreme in this pairing of voice and strings that celebrates the legendary canon of Nina Simone. Drea d’Nur (vocalist/pianist) is accompanied by 6-piece string ensemble Rootstock Republic: LIVE in this uniquely intimate and newly orchestrated songbook of Simone’s love songs, blues, and protest music. This program is presented by the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center and the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans arrival in America.


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About Rootstock Republic:

“The primary vision and core principle of Rootstock Republic is to create dynamic platforms for intergenerational string players of color to be seen, heard, and celebrated on stage and in studio. We are committed to growing the rich legacy of string players and institutions that shape tradition while fostering community.”

Rootstock Republic is a boutique, broad-based string production company that specializes in consulting, contracting, music preparation, live performance, and studio recording; and has been at the forefront of major projects and partnerships since its inception in 2014. Founded by Violinist and BMI composer, Juliette Jones, and co-led by Violist and the company’s head of Music Supervision, Jarvis Benson, Rootstock has scored, recorded and contracted for a number of live, television and multimedia events, including the Oscar-nominated film ‘Mudbound’ (Dee Rees, Director; Tamar-kali, Composer), the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards Elton John Tribute, NBC’s Live Broadcast of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar,’ the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s 51st New York Film Festival live presentation of the original Grand Theft Auto V score, and the world premiere of the Geva Theater-commissioned play, ‘The Agitators,’ (Mat Smart, Playwright; Logan Vaughn, Director). Members of the team also provided music preparation for Solange Knowles’ performances of ‘A Seat at the Table’ at the Hollywood Bowl and Radio City Music Hall, as well as with the Beijing Philharmonic, in partnership with UK-based Producer, Singer, and Songwriter, Ebony Bones. They have made appearances on the VMAs (Shawn Mendes), Good Morning America (One Republic), The Today Show (Why Don’t We) and NPR’s Tiny Desk (Violents and Monica Martin); and shared creative partnership with Red Bull Studios NY; Beats by Dre; Ray Chew Entertainment, Atlantic Records, VH1, and Interscope Records. Rootstock’s mission is founded on a continued commitment to cultivating opportunities that push the envelope in contemporary performance through dynamic, collaborative partnerships. Their latest curated projects include, “Jukebox: A Live Orchestral Mixtape” (featuring String Sextet, DJ/Turntable and Live Audio-reactive Visuals); “Dear Nina: A Sonic Love Letter”—in collaboration with Drea d’Nur—featuring re-orchestrated works from Nina Simone’s songbook of Love songs, Blues and Protest Music for voice and string sextet; and “Home: A Community-Centered Salon” which offers free to sliding scale acoustic performances in Brooklyn & Harlem brownstones.

For more information, please visit: www.rootstockrepublic.com

About Drea d’Nur:

Drea d’Nur is a WNY-based singer and songwriter whose work has reached national and international acclaim with localized work to highlight the rich history of Black music and art in Buffalo. This 2017 Spark Awards Artist of the Year has performed in overseas, released two independent music projects, produced two short films about Nina Simone, directed music videos, produced two stage productions, and has album credits on the new Gorillaz album, HUMANZ.

 D’Nur stays balanced with hands-on community activism with a passion for healing and building communities. Drea founded FEED BUFFALO, WNY’s First Organic, Safe and Halal Food Pantry. She is also a founding member of PANTHFRICA, Artists Transforming Communities and Fights to end human trafficking as a member of Mona’s House, Buffalo’s First Home just for trafficking victims.

She somehow manages all of this while raising five gifted children. Visit www.officialdreadnur.com for more!


Daily Freedom Conversation Tours

October 9 @ 12:00 am – December 5, 2020 @ 12:00 am

Tuesday – Saturday, 11:30am and 2:00pm

Freedom Conversation Tours are the Heritage Center’s signature program. Rooted in stories of the Underground Railroad in Niagara Falls, these tours spark conversation and offer a space to consider the relationship between race, human rights, and freedom. They are led by trained interpretive specialists and are a way to foster empathy, increase knowledge, and encourage action.

Freedom Conversation tours are offered Tuesday through Saturday, 11:30AM and 2:00PM. Tours are limited to 20 people and can be registered for on-site. We also offer these tours for groups and can extend them into longer programs that help foster empathy on teams, between collaborators, or even in families.

Tours last about an hour and are free with regular admission tickets.


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