Nina Simone — the high priestess of soul, queen of eloquent yearning, badass backlash momma — was perhaps the best at channeling her difficult life experiences into frank, rhythmic and powerful hymnals. Lines such as, “You give me second-class houses/and second-class schools/ do you think that all colored folks are just second-class fools,” and the dark, melodic, sinister tones of songs like “The Pusher” spoke to audiences regardless of their race and beyond her own lifetime. On Friday, Grand Performances at California Plaza honors her legacy and what would have been her 80th year with Young, Gifted and Nina: A Tribute to Nina Simone, featuring a soulful lineup that will echo through the outdoor stage and fill your heart with powerful, pain-to-pleasure blues. Artists performing include Dwight Trible, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Jimetta Rose, Joi Gilliam, Patrice Quinn, Sonja Marie and Waberi Jordan, and the night will feature visual narratives and surprise guests. When stellar musical events like these are put together, we really understand the value of the ubiquitous term “free summer concert.” Simone died 10 years ago, but her music continues to thrive, kicking and vibing, and the answer to her question “Do I Move You?” is undoubtedly, always, “Yes.” California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave, Downtown, Fri., July 5, 8-10:30 p.m.; (213) 687-2159,

Fri., July 5, 8 p.m., 2013

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