SIMONE MORRIS (Jazz Singer, Songwriter) https://simonemorris.ca
After years playing the Toronto jazz circuit, Vocalist SIMONE MORRIS dug deep into writing with guitarist Mike Freedman, and in November 2018 released her all-original debut album entitled “Settling Up” to wide acclaim. It debuted at #1 on the iTunes Canada Jazz Chart, and, since its release, has earned extensive airplay, accolades, in-depth interviews and reviews.
“…Settling Up is an absolute treat to the listener, a pop of delicious and sultry goodness in an otherwise dull and dreary day…. with each piece offering a new stylistic experience that perfectly showcases her unique timbre and exceptionally varied musical background… with an intriguing touch of spunk, she has succeeded in creating a captivating modern yet timeless quality within her music…. Settling Up will delight jazz aficionados and newcomers alike.”
~ Kati Killaspea, THE WHOLENOTE magazine
MORRIS’ innate musicality was evident at an early age beginning in classical piano at age 6. Mature interpretive and technical abilities caught the attention of teachers, and she was deemed an outstanding natural talent. As a youngster, Simone enthusiastically volunteered for anything musical – from piano performance competitions where she frequently placed in the Top 5 (often the youngest in her group), to school concert & stage bands, high school musical theatre productions (leading the pit-band), to accompanying school choirs, solo instrumental Royal Conservatory exams, and summer jobs as Musical Director for musical theatre.
With an array of performance and direction experience already under her belt, she went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music from York University (Toronto), focusing on contemporary improvisation. She discovered her voice in a life-changing way as a member of, and soloist in, the University’s Jazz Choir (“Wibijazz’n’”). The joy of singing caused her to re-focus, hone her chops, and begin her lifelong path as a vocalist. A born-communicator, Simone knew she’d found the ideal form of musical expression for her.
Simone exudes a rare blend of soulfulness and subtlety. She’s a natural storyteller who captures the essence of a song, while artfully luring audiences into craftily spun musical stories. Known for soulful takes on life and love, she draws on her early influences of Ray Charles, Etta James, Aretha Franklin & Joni Mitchell, alongside her favourite women in jazz – Billie Holliday, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone. She has carved her own way on the jazz scene with a unique timbre, a natural sultry allure, and an honest raw connection to music evident in every note. She treats her listeners to a refreshingly ‘dig-deep’ kind of conversation delicately wrapped in her velvety-sweet vibes