Martin Simmons
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Martin Simmons

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Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

I was born in Detroit MI, September 25, 1948 to Rev. Martin Luther Simmons Sr. and Winona Wing Simmons (an art teacher). I studied piano, accordion, brass and strings while living in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In 1960 the family returned to Detroit MI. At this time I was playing woodwinds and studied with Dr. Teddy Harris (he oversaw the Motown road bands). Just mentioning his name got me into some cool places to see and hear the great players of the day.

Craig Strain was my High School music instructor at Mackenzie and I shared the classroom with noted players Bruce Nazarian, Alan Barnes and Thad Jones. In the 1960's I attended Eastern Michigan University. I performed in the Detroit production of Hair with Shawn Murphy & Meatloaf. I understudied for the role of Hud and was able to performed one night. I was also in the production Jesus Christ Superstar. In this production I also understudied for the role of Herod and performed one night. In the 1970's my band The Rabbits achieved local success. Additional successful bands of mine were Bigfoot. The drummer Steve Bray went with Madonna to New York.

In the 1980's I played and taught at Washtenaw Community College. One of our highlights is the 1988 performance of the W.C.C Jazz band at Carnegie Hall. I also studied with Eddie Russ and played with Al Hill's soul band Jeannie and the Dreams. In 1990 I had the band SpaceHeater and played a gig with Norma Jean Bell(an old friend of my dad's). I played and toured with Martha Reeves and the VanDellas. I studied piano with Tad Weed in 2000 and sax with Mark Kieme in 2005.
I have a new band, Old School. Come check me out.