Musical Artist, Educator, Clinician, Music Director, Arranger, Composer
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One of the main exponents of Latin Jazz today...
Educator, Percussionist, Composer Marlon Simon was born in the small town of Cardon Venezuela. His first contact with music, at the age of 10 through his father who father a singer and guitarist. In his homeland Marlon learned the rudiments of Latin dance music on his own. By the time he was 18, Simon had organized his own band and had begun performing locally at concerts and clubs, often opening for major national acts. Later he became interested in Jazz and African originated music. He came to the United States in 1987 and began formal studies on drums at The University of The Arts in Philadelphia 1989, later obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Jazz and Contemporary Music from the New School for Social Research. During his studies, Mr. Simon worked locally in the city for many years developing his unique style and gaining the respect of noted jazz and Latin musicians. As a drummer and percussionist he worked with such luminaries as Hilton Ruiz, Dave Valentin, Jerry Gonzalez, Charles Fambrough, Bobby Watson and Chucho Valdez to mention a few
After several years, he formed his own Latin jazz ensemble, Marlon Simon and the Nagual Spirits. With his own group Marlon got the opportunity to showcase his talents as a composer and drummer defining a distinct approach to Latin Jazz. Simon has since released five recordings: The Music of Marlon Simon for K-Jazz Records (1999), Rumba a la Patato for Ubiquity (Cubop) Records (2000) "Live in Bolivia" for Intrigue Records (2004), In case you missed it,(2012) Jazz heads ,The French Venezuelan project, (2010), Chantilly records and Marlon Simon French Latin Jazz project. (2012) Chantilly records. His name appears on more then 40 records as a sideman and his music has taken him him around the world.
Parallel to his career as a performer, Simon has also become recognized as an in- demand educator as a specialist in Afro-Caribbean rhythms. He has conducted workshops, master classes and seminars on numerous colleges and universities in the USA and abroad. Marlon Simon is the recipient of the following grants and awards: Chamber music America new works, The Philadelphia Music foundation grant, New Jersey council of the arts composition grant, The new jersey Governor’s award in arts and education, Meet the composer. Face,French American cultural exchange grant.Department of State grant to present international concerts, Claremont Ferrand department of culture grant in France.
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Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."