August 6, 2022, 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Simply Naomi at Night Tours
Included with admission to Night Tours: Summer Twilight.
Every month during Night Tours, we feature programs around a new theme. August's theme is "Creativity," and we're celebrating with a special series of live musical performances in The Fair Chance Beer Garden.
On August 6 from 8:00 to 9:00 pm, enjoy the musical stylings of Naomi Blount Wilson AKA Simply Naomi.
Ms. Naomi learned to play piano and sing when she was eight years old, influenced by her mother’s gospel roots, and cut her first records as a teenager on Philly label Swan Records. However, her path to becoming a professional musician took a long detour in 1982, when she was sentenced to life in prison. While incarcerated, music accompanied her and she led every choir she was a part of, including Lady Lifers, a group of women serving life sentences at Muncy State Prison in Pennsylvania. As their composer, Ms. Naomi wrote the music for "This Is Not My Home," which received over 130K views as part of a TedX conference, during which she also performed a solo composition called "Incarcerated.”
In 2019, after serving 37 years in prison, Ms. Naomi’s sentence was commuted. The first song she wrote upon release, "Never Will Forget," was dedicated to the lifers she left behind – alas not for long; Ms. Naomi soon began working as a Commutation Specialist alongside Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, offering assistance in the commutation process. Since her release, she has assisted in freeing over ten lifers. In 2020, Ms. Naomi reconnected with Die Jim Crow as the headline artist for their Virtual Volume series — performing as the newly christened Simply Naomi — and has continued to work with the label since. Her first project, a collaboration with Lifers Groove, is scheduled for December 2022 release. Simply Naomi’s debut single, the classic retro ballad “Mello-D,” is out now.
This program is made possible with the support of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society.