Artist Spotlight: Jamey Simmons
Acclaimed trumpeter and UW-Eau Claire alum Jamey Simmons will return once again for the Eau Claire Jazz Festival!
A Wisconsin native, Jamey Simmons grew up in West Bend and attended his undergraduate studies here in Eau Claire, where his budding skills in arranging, composing, educating, and performing flourished. From there he went on to attend the Eastman School of Music on full scholarship studying under the great Fred Sturm. He and has since established himself professionally as an all-rounder – accumulating am impressive resume in all areas of musicianship.
One area in which Jamey excels is his trumpet playing, which becomes self-evident upon observing his wealth of performance experience. Most impressively is his residence with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, which he toured with all around the world. Other significant collaborations have been with artists such as the Hornheads, the Temptations, Dave Weckl, Buddy DeFranco, Macy Gray, Lee Konitz, and Duffy Jackson. While he still lived in the Midwest, the trumpeter performed in freelance work in the Twin Cities – he currently does similar work in the Nashville scene as he now resides in the state of Tennessee.
On equal footing with his playing is Jamey’s ability to compose and arrange music. He has been awarded twice by Downbeat Magazine for the “Best Arranger” award, once while still in school at Eau Claire! He was also commissioned a piece by the Brussels Jazz Orchestra after winning their composition competition. Other professional ensembles Jamey has written for include the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Buffalo Symphony Pops, and the Nashville Jazz Orchestra. Moreover, the prolific writer has published numerous arrangements.
As with many excellent jazz musicians, Jamey recognizes the importance of education which shows when examining his career. Jamey is currently on staff as the Director of Jazz Studies at Middle Tennessee State University, a thriving department which has been featured on Downbeat’s “Five Gems of Jazz Education.” In addition to his collegiate instruction, the educator has written multiple educational books on jazz and even hosts an educational blog on his website, which can be accessed here.
Jamey Simmons can be spotted performing on 52nd street at this year’s festival with his colleagues Rory Hoffman and Matt Endahl. We at Jazz Inc. cannot wait to welcome this wonderful musician back to where it all started!