Vocalist Simone Bernhard wears many hats

From Staff Reports
Black Mountain News

The phrase “wearer of many hats” is especially apt when referring to jazz vocalist Simone Bernhard. She’s a choral and orchestral conductor. She’s a performer fluent in many musical styles . She’s a vocal coach, small ensemble leader and a creator of custom headwear for her millinery business, Chapeaux by Simone.

She’s appeared at White Horse Black Mountain as backup singer for Marcel Anton, and now she returns as featured performer in the venue’s Wednesday Jazz series.

Backed by her own handpicked combo on Valentine’s Day, Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m., Bernhard will no doubt serve up romantic favorites for a great Valentine date night. The White Horse has big plans to decorate for the occasion.

Bernhard, a self-taught milliner, “collects vintage hats and reworks them to be wearable today,” she said. “I turn them into beautiful headwear to beguile and charm.”

That’s also an appropriate metaphor for her work as a jazz singer, in which time-tested material is reshaped into something fresh for each performance. Bernhard has appeared with trios, small groups and big bands, but also has experience singing opera and musical theater.

The depth of her musical expertise led to her appointment in August as musical director of Cantaria, Asheville’s gay men’s chorus, which performs classical and popular works.

Tickets are $10 advance, $12 door and $6 students.