NO FEAR AND BLUES LONG GONE: NINA SIMONE to be Presented at the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts

Performances will run September 6-8.

By: Feb. 19, 2024
NO FEAR AND BLUES LONG GONE: NINA SIMONE to be Presented at the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts
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February 21, 2024 will mark 91 years since jazz legend and civil rights activist Nina Simone was born in Tryon, North Carolina, and grew up to leave an indelible and unforgettable mark on this world. Several concerts and shows salute her contributions to music, social activism, and the Civil Rights Movement.

In 2019, the award-winning playwright, poet, essayist, screenwriter, and arts educator, Howard L. Craft known for his books and solo plays, including FREIGHT: The Reincarnation of Abel Green, penned "No Fear and Blues Long Gone: Nina Simone”. The play premiered to sold-out Chapel Hill audiences and has since traveled throughout North Carolina, including to Simone's Tryon hometown and in several theatres in Virginia. This September, No Fear and Blues Long Gone: Nina Simone makes a return to North Carolina September 6-8 at the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts.

No Fear and Blues Long Gone: Nina Simone, a 90-minute music and wisdom-filled one-woman play by Craft is a dynamic theatre piece starring award-winning vocalist and theatre veteran Yolanda Rabun with an onstage trio of accomplished musicians and directed by Kathryn Hunter-Williams. It is an intimate portrayal of the legendary artist Nina Simone that gives the audience insight into Simone's vast music repertoire, life perspective, sense of humor, and sense of duty to people, even today.  

Combining Simone's genre-bending songs with details from her incredible life story, playwright Howard L. Craft's play captures an American cultural icon for an evening of theater that won't soon be forgotten. Tickets go on sale Friday, February 23 and are available at and the venue box office.

About Yolanda Rabun

Yolanda Rabun, a skilled singer with natural storytelling instincts, performs with symphonies and in national jazz festivals, regional theatres, and music venues, sharing concerts of her music and tributes to her musical icons, Nancy Wilson and Nina Simone. Rabun exploded onto the jazz scene as a bandleader in 2011, with her debut CD project, "So Real," and followed up with "Christmastime”, "Hold on To Your Dreams", and the Yolanda projects, the latter of which made first round consideration for the 59th Grammy and had appearances on several jazz charts, including the UK Soul Top 30 chart for 11+ weeks and a Billboard Most Added List for Smooth Jazz.  Rabun has opened for and sung with Jennifer Holiday, Stephanie Mills, Will Downing, Howard Hewitt, Ron Isley and the Isley Brothers, R&B singer KEM, Stephanie Mills, Lalah Hathaway, world-renowned iconic drummer, Sheila E., the NC Opera, North Carolina Symphony and the Durham Symphony Orchestra. Yolanda has performed at New York's Lincoln Center and headlined the acclaimed Catalina Jazz Club in Los Angeles and Blues Alley in Washington, DC.

Rabun is a proud member of Actors Equity, a Georgia and New York licensed practicing and award-winning corporate attorney, a Recording Academy (the Grammys) voting member, and a registered BMI songwriter and BMI and ASCAP publisher. Among other professional honors, Yolanda has won the Triangle Business Journal's Top 40 under 40 Leadership Award.


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