Producer/singer, songwriter/ music director, composer, an award-winning artist and alumni of Berklee College of Music, Marko Simmonds aka MARKO, has established himself as a major player within the Nova Scotia Music industry. Creating shows for historical figures such as Dr. Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King III and Former Lieutenant Governor, Mayann Francis. Marko continues to seek new opportunities in the music, film and entertainment industry.
MARKO has experience directing and arranging music for a number of shows including “The Spirit Comes Through with Jerry Brown”, the Council of African Canadian Affairs (CACE), as well as the much anticipated Dreamgirls musical in February 2013 at Alderney Landing Theatre, Dartmouth. He has hosted several productions for Music Nova Scotia including New Music Fridays at Casino Nova Scotia, performances for Nova Scotia Music Week in Liverpool and the Music Nova Scotia Gala After Party. MARKO’s music has been able to cross many genres including Gospel, Rock, R&B, Classical, Jazz and Country. His music arranging and songwriting style is soulful and exciting. It speaks of love and life with musical influences from Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Ne-Yo and Michael Jackson.
As songerwriter, proformer MARKO has performed in numerous venues throughout Canada and United States with upcoming performances in Singapore and Malayisa. Notable appearances include his high-energy annual appearance at the Atlantic Jazz Festival, and his feature performance with Charlie A’Court at the 2013 East Coast Music Awards Show in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Recent awards/nominations include: winner of Rising Star Award from the African Nova Scotian Music Association, two Music Nova Scotia award nominations and two East Coast Music award nominations.
MARKO has recently been selected to travel to Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei through the Rotary International Foundation Group Study Exchange from May - June 2013. As songwriter, Music Arranger he will connect with other industry professionals in the pursuit of learning and developing new methods of excellence in music creation, planning and performance.
For more information on music style or to contact MARKO, please visit ca.linkedin.com/pub/marko-simmonds/19/748/848/.
Drums: Johnathan (JR) Smith
Bass: Marlow (Bruno) Smith
Piano: Shawn Downey
Guitar: Macio Dorrington
Sax: Alexander Kol
1) Ester Medley-Smith
2) Terise Crawley
*New Single* "She's The Greatest"
Single 1: DANCE WITH ME
Single 2: RISE AGAIN
Debut Album:MARKO Presents...
Music guaranteed to make you love again, live again, dream and dance again
She's the Greatest Feat (feat. Adrian Scott)
RISE AGAIN, Haiti
Away From Here
Dance with me (Here)
Special Place of Love
Soul Of Simmonds
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Soul of Simmonds North Preston prodigy fulfills promise on debut By STEPHEN COOKE Entertainment R...Soul of Simmonds
North Preston prodigy fulfills promise on debut
By STEPHEN COOKE Entertainment Reporter
Fri. Dec 4 - 4:46 AM
When you talk to Marko Simmonds about making music, you can’t help but feel his passion for it.
Not just writing and performing his personal mix of gospel and R&B, but also the challenges of producing and promoting his songs, and finding new opportunities for his company RMS Music Productions.
"Being a new business, I really want to do more than just music," says the North Preston native, who launches his first full-length recording Marko Presents on Saturday night at The Company House, Halifax. "Music is an avenue for me to give back to the community.
"There is a lot of raw talent here, and that’s great, but we also need the infrastructure so we can develop the talent. That’s what I hope to do with this release, and use music as an avenue toward creating a production studio, getting into clothing … my dream is to have an empire. I want it, and I’m gonna get it."
Simmonds has had his sights set on that goal since childhood, studying classical piano while in elementary school, picking up on gospel, R&B and jazz along the way, ultimately attending Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music after graduating from Cole Harbour High in 2001.
Even before graduating from Berklee with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in engineering and music production, Simmonds worked with civil rights activist Dr. Rosa Parks on the Pathways to Freedom youth development program and Canadian jazz singer Jeri Brown on her BRAVO TV special The Spirit Comes Through.
"Berklee helped me so much, and I loved it," he says of his experience at the college. "Here in Nova Scotia there aren’t that many professional gospel piano players or R&B piano players. For me to go to Boston really opened my eyes and I realized I’m not the only one. I’m not the only 19-year-old with a background in classical music that can also play jazz and gospel.
"It also made me realize, ‘You have to work harder. You have to really do something else that’s different.’ And that’s what I tried to do with Marko Presents, not just with the music, but also being innovative by releasing it on a flash drive."
Marko Presents’ songs and artwork are contained on a pocket device about half the size of a disposable lighter, which can be played on a computer, uploaded to a portable music device or burned to a CD, although Simmonds says he had the environment in mind when he chose the flash drive format.
"It’s new and innovative, but it also helps the environment and calls attention to how you can affect the world by cutting down on using paper and plastic," he says.
Although he’s confident that putting his new material on a flash drive puts him ahead of the curve, Simmonds is still amazed at the idea of having a year’s work condensed into a device as big as his thumb.
It all began last January at Hammonds Plains’ Emmanuel Baptist Church, where Simmonds is Minister of Music, when choir member Carmelita Fisher — who eventually became the album’s executive producer — turned up the burner on a dream that had long been simmering.
"She said, ‘Marko, you have to do something with your music, there’s no need for you to be just in church anymore.
"I took that to heart, so in January we started talking about how we were going to record my music. I got a band together for a live recording at The Music Room in May. That went off without a hitch, everybody loved it and they even bought T-shirts.
"Then in June I got married, but the honeymoon didn’t last long because I had to go back into the studio to do more production and overdubs, and that went through to October, and then it was time to think about how we were going to release it. It really was a journey."
Marko Presents also fulfills the promise that was inspired by his brother Ernie Simmonds III, who died in 2005 from cystic fibrosis and to whom the record is dedicated.
A student pastor and musician, his older brother inspired Simmonds to take music lessons and drove him to challenge himself.
"He was a man of God; he always put God first in whatever he did," recalls Simmonds. "He was very spiritual, very educated, and he was very determined. He was and still continues to be a great inspiration to me. In terms of music, he’s the one.
"He always used to say to me, ‘If it’s meant to be, then it’s up to me.’ Of course you’re going to get encouragement, but if you’re going to do it, you’re going to have to do it yourself. There’s no one else around but you."
Tickets for Marko Simmonds at The Company House, 2202 Gottingen St., are $20, which includes a copy of Marko Presents and an autographed photo. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
For more info and samples of Simmonds music, go to www.rmsmusic.ca.
Marko's Dream About Love
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Marko’s dream about love By SHERRI BORDEN COLLEY Staff Reporter TOP 20 20-SOMETHINGS Marko Simm...Marko’s dream about love
By SHERRI BORDEN COLLEY Staff Reporter TOP 20 20-SOMETHINGS
Simmonds envisions himself walking across the stage of a world-renowned awards show that recognizes top artistic talent in the recording industry.
”My dream is the Grammys . . .and I see it so clear,” the 27-year-old North Preston native said. Until then, Simmonds is striving for overall excellence by writing and singing about something we all desire and need — love and encouragement.
”My slogan has always been love for God, love for yourself and love for the one you’re with.”
began studying classical piano as a child and later went on to focus on gospel, R&B and jazz.
An accomplished gospel and classical pianist, he played for American civil rights icon Rosa Parks and toured with her Pathways to Freedom youth development program from 1999 to 2002. ”That still is a highlight in my life: to perform for Dr. Parks, to sit down and eat lunch with her, to listen to her speak and to stand up when she (walked) in the room.”
He graduated from Boston’s Berklee College of Music in 2005 with a BA, majoring in engineering and music production. He played organ at St. Thomas United Baptist Church in North Preston for two years and now serves as minister of music at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Upper Hammonds Plains.
Back in 2005, Simmonds lost two of the most influential people in his life. His brother, Ernie Simmonds III, an accomplished musician, died from cystic fibrosis at 39. And two days earlier, his maternal grandmother, Emma Fraser, who also sang, died at 100.
”If Ernie saw me today, he would look up to me . . . and say: ‘You’re doing a good job.’ ”
recently launched his first full-length recording, Marko Presents, to a packed house in Halifax.
Typically my set list consists of the following Classic Soul, R&B, Jazz Piano and Original songs. 45-1:00hr. Best suited for Lounge Bars, Fine Dining Resturants, Jazz Bars, Festivals and Conferences. Many of the songs can be heard on my New Debut Album, "MARKO Presents..."
1) One Love - Bob Marley
2) Away From Here - MARKO
3) Dance With Me - MARKO
4) Away From Here - MARKO
5) Forever - PJ Morton
6) So High - John Legend
7) Autum Leaves -Jazz Piano Standard
8) Sleep Angel - MARKO
9) Rise Again - MARKO
10) Will You Be There - Michael Jackson
11) Happy People – R.Kelly
There are no upcoming dates at this time.