‘British Ambassador of Soul’ Joins Nina Simone Festival Committee

Recent discussions between Eunice Waymon-Nina Simone Project director Dr. Crys Armbrust and entrepreneur David Nathan, ‘the British Ambassador of Soul,’ have culminated with David Nathan joining the Nina Simone Music Festival committee.

Nathan first met Simone in 1965 in London and began a lifelong association with the international chanteuse. He and his sister Slyvia Hampton went on to form the Nina Simone Appreciation Society in London in 1966, a forerunner of the present International Nina Simone Fan Club.

Nathan’s writing credits include ‘The Soulful Divas’ (1999), a collection of personal portraits detailing over a dozen musical divas, including Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, and Janet Jackson. Further, he co-authored, with his sister Sylvia, the first biography of Simone, “Nina Simone: Break Down and Let It All Out” (2004). He is also credited with producing liner notes for over 700 albums.

Beyond his prolific credits as a historian of 20th-century popular music, Nathan manages the popular internet site SoulMusic.com, and has recently launched his own solo recording career with several critically acclaimed albums.

Nathan serves, too, as the Rhythm & Blues Foundation Executive Council Secretary. Founded in 1988, the Rhythm & Blues Foundation produces the popular Annual Pioneer Awards, administers significant medical and financial assistance endowments—including The Motown/Universal Music Group Fund, Gwendolyn B. Gordy Fuqua Fund, and The Doc Pomus Financial Assistance Program—and oversights the historical and cultural preservation of Rhythm & Blues music of the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s.

Armbrust comments that “Nathan’s deep emersion in the music industry and his broad experience at multiple levels within the industry will prove invaluable as the Simone Project moves into the planning stages for the upcoming Nina Simone Music Festival.”