In advance of shows in both Dublin and Cork later this month, Karen Underwood – one of Ireland’s best-kept musical secrets – will be performing at Skibbereen Town Hall on Sunday, July 12th. Her show is called The Nina in Me and tells of a Chicago diva’s struggles through the medium of sweet soulful music.
In Cork, Karen is revered as one of the foremost talents in jazz, blues, and soul. The impeccable technique of Karen, and pianist John O’Brien, coupled with a mastery of composition and storytelling, makes this concert a memorable experience.
Karen not only has the music, but she has the story as well: The Nina in Me is a musical adventure in which she helps the audience explore Karen’s and Nina’s lives through music and discuss issues of religion, race and sexuality in America and Ireland.
In The Nina In Me, Karen recounts her restrictive church-going years, the periods of intense personal and social suffering during the post-Civil Rights era and, more recently, her experience in a state that, until recently, did not recognise her right to marry the person she loves. Karen’s life is a triumphant story; a soulful struggle.
John O’Brien, Karen’s best friend, decade-long partner in music and winner of two Irish Times Theatre Awards for opera, adds artistic delicacy and passion to music. No other pianist shares his strange gifts of sophistication, accessibility and downright joy.
If you want to experience this different type of concert, tickets for The Nina in Me on July 12th are available in advance from Thornhill Bros Electrical, Skibbereen, telephone 028-22557.