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Adam Simmons

ADAM SIMMONS plays saxophones, clarinets, flutes, shakuhachi, fujara, toys and graduated from VCA in 1992. Since then, Adam has regularly worked in Melbourne, nationally and internationally with all manner of influential groups and artists including: Ernest Ranglin, Nigel Kennedy, Peter Brotzmann, John Hollenbeck, Jacek Kochan, Alessandra Garosi, Odean Pope, bucketrider, The Pearly Shells, BOLT Ensemble, Spiderbait, Zydeco Jump, Kutcha Edwards, Australian Art Orchestra, Gotye, Clocked Out, Tony Gould, Sandy Evans, Noriko Tadano, David Jones, Dave Brown, David Chesworth, Pugsley Buzzard and many more . Adam’s own ensembles include: Origami, Collider, La Societe des Antipodes (French/Australian), Adam Simmons Quartet, Adam Simmons Toy Band, Adam Simmons Creative Music Ensemble and New Blood.

Highlights from the past few years include: third (and final) Festival of Slow Music, launch of Shakuhachi Melbourne (a community ensemble), performed Nick Tsiavos 15hr Immersion at Dark MOFO, conducted a University of Melbourne engagement project with Kids off the Kerb, “100:25:1” performing duets with 100 different artists across 25 nights (with two research papers presented at jazz and social network conferences), released three CDs by Origami and five other CDs on his Fat Rain label, presented five major projects and released a 5 CD Box set as part of “The Usefulness of Art” 2017-18 concert series, was Lead Co-Artistic Director for Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues (2017-18) where he led the Wangaratta Horns of Death, a 60 piece community, in a special full set with Spiderbait, and has graduated from the 2017 intake for the Australia Council Arts Leaders Program.

Other highlights include: world premiere of “Travelling Tales” at Piraeus Festival (Greece) with Intrarti Orchestra, Commission for Speak Percussion and Michael Kieran Harvey (2012), Special Award from Freedman Foundation (2004), Music Omi Artist Residency (USA, Fellowship 2001, Guest Curator 2007), Green Room Award for Musical Direction (2003 & 2004), Adam Simmons Retrospective, with 40 different acts over three weeks (2006)

Adam is endorsed by Selmer (bass clarinet), Temby Australia (alto sax and flutes) and has just been newly endorsed by Forestone Japan (tenor sax).


2019 Music Victoria Awards – The Usefulness of Art: 2017- 2018 (5 CD box set) nominated for Best Jazz Album 2018 The Age Music Victoria Awards – Origami’s Wu Xing nominated for Best Jazz Album 2013 The Age Music Victoria Awards – Origami’s Karaoke nominated for Best Jazz Album 2004 Special Award from Freedman Foundation 2004 Green Room Award for Best Musical Direction 2003 Green Room Award for Best Musical Direction 1999 Melbourne Fringe Festival Best Music Award 1996 ARIA Nomination for Best Jazz Album – Adam Simmons Quartet


Adam Simmons: The Kites of Tianjin ★★★★★ Raphael Solarsh, Arts Hub “Adam Simmons’ The Usefulness of Art has been a ground-breaking and magnificent musical journey. Simmons and hiscollaborators have plotted a singularly innovative and evocative trail that has taken audience to the far-flung corners of the world with Simmons’ exquisite sonic journals. Each concert has offered not just music inspired by place but deeply personal narratives seamlessly intertwined.” “... Adam Simmons is producing some of the most incredible jazz in Australia or anywhere else.”

Adam Simmons: The Calling ★★★★ Jessica Nicholas, The Age & Sydney Morning Herald “... a deep philosophical – even existential – exploration of Simmons’ own identity and sense of belonging... the most personal of all the works he has produced for his Usefulness of Art series.” “The most impactful – and poignant – passage arose when Simmons and Iyengar performed a semi-improvised duet. Standing behind Simmons, the dancer extended his hands gently around the saxophonist’s hips, allowing him to lean forward at a sharp angle as streams of sonorous beauty emerged from his soprano horn. It was arresting both musically and visually, reflecting the sense of empathy and shared experience that gives this work such a strong emotional resonance.”

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Primary Instrument




Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced

George Adams
saxophone, tenor
Albert Ayler
saxophone, tenor
Hamiet Bluiett
saxophone, baritone
Ornette Coleman
saxophone, alto
David Murray
saxophone, tenor
Tim O'Dwyer
saxophone, alto
Sandy Evans



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