1. Faculty

Edward Simon

Roots, Jazz, and American Music

“Simon is an important presence on the jazz and world music scene.”
—Los Angeles Times

Courses Taught

  • Piano

Ensembles

  • SFJAZZ Collective
  • Edward Simon Trio
  • Afinidad

Awards and Distinctions

  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album

What is your hometown?

Emeryville, CA

What are you passionate about outside of music?

Meditation and yoga.

Who were your major teachers?

Susan Star and Sophia Rosoff.

What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?

"To be a good player, learn to be a good listerner."

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?

I was about 10 years old playing in a dance band. The joy and thrill of connecting with dancers on the dance floor changed me forever.

If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?

I would be a Buddhist monk.

What is your daily practice routine?

I usually start by playing some scales and arpeggios to warm up. Then I play some classical pieces, which usually includes a work by Bach. Finally, I practice imprivsation.

If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?

F. Mompou, J.S. Bach, and Arvo Pärt.

What are your most important collaborations?

SFJAZZ Collective, Paquito D'Rivera, and Steel House (with Scott Colley and Brian Blade).

What recordings can we hear you on?

Latin American Songbook
Venezuelan Suite
Poesia
Unicity
La Bikina

What is your unrealized project?

A solo piano recording.

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