Todd Simon Trio
CD Release Concert
Todd Simon, piano
Blake Meister, bass
Shareef Taher, drums
Alternatively hard-swinging, high-energy, blues-drenched, and infused with fervent pathos, pianist Todd Simon’s music reflects the influence of fusion, Latin jazz, gospel, R&B, and classical genres, all underpinned by a solid, traditional jazz foundation. His ostensibly serious approach to music belying his casual demeanor, Todd captivates audiences with a focused yet playful touch while maintaining an infectious groove that his band mates can’t help but enjoy. Todd engages both the passive and active listener, satisfying their quest for top-notch musicality as they marvel at the effortless transition between moods. In an increasingly fast-paced, attention-starved world full of sub-par artistic offerings, rampant cynicism and institutional shortcomings, Todd takes it all in stride with a wry smile and offers a welcome respite for those just looking for some authentic, fun, good music.
Todd Simon is a highly sought-after pianist in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore area and currently serves as pianist and saxophonist for the Annapolis-based United States Naval Academy Band, “the Navy’s Oldest and Finest Band.” Born and raised in Dover, DE, Todd’s parents encouraged his early musical pursuits and started him on classical piano lessons in 3rd grade.
After deciding to focus on jazz, Todd enrolled at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where he received his Bachelor's of Music degree specializing in Jazz Piano Performance in 2007. While there, he studied piano and organ with Tim Murphy for 4 years and soprano/alto/tenor/baritone saxophones with Gary Thomas for 2 years. In addition to playing multiple instruments in several Peabody ensembles, Todd also contributed original compositions and arrangements. His composition, "McCoy's Mode," was performed by the Peabody Lab Band in a spring 2007 performance. He has had the privilege of playing in Peabody concerts alongside Conrad Herwig, Sam Rivers, David Sanchez, Ingrid Jensen, George Garzone, Rufus Reid, and Dave Samuels.
Upon graduation, Todd began performing more regularly on the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. jazz scene. During his years as a full-time freelance musician prior to (and since) joining the Navy, he has had the opportunity to perform with Roy Hargrove, Dontae Winslow, Alex Norris, Mike Pope, Donvonte McCoy, Tarus Mateen, Jimmy "Junebug" Jackson, Mike Hawkins, the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, the Eubie Blake Big Band, the Baltimore City Big Band, the Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra, the Rumba Club, and The Fabulous Hubcaps, a group his father founded.
Todd began his tenure as the pianist with the Naval Academy Band in December 2009, where he performs in the Next Wave Jazz Ensemble, Superintendent’s Combo, and Concert Band, in addition to playing saxophone in ceremonial and marching units. Apart from the Academy Band, Todd remains an active composer and performer well-versed in many musical genres. He is featured on trumpeter Donvonte McCoy’s album “Third Floor” as well as vocalist Tom Moore’s debut CD “Restless Journey,” and has several recording projects of his own that will be released in 2012.
Recent professional highlights include performing a solo piano recital at Galilee Lutheran Church in Pasadena, MD, as well as being a featured performer for the Peabody Jazz Program 10th Anniversary Concert, Carl Grubbs’ concert at the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, MD, and the Mavis Waters group at Westminster Church in Washington DC. Todd’s weekly performance schedule includes gigs with the Donvonte McCoy Quintet at the Eighteenth St. Lounge, the Deandrey Howard Project at Zula, and duets at Kellari Taverna and the Occidental, all located in Washington, D.C.