My passion is to help others in the community, young, old, and everyone in between, find relevance and joy in learning, performing or listening to classical music.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Breathing fresh air and clarity into one musician's life: chatting with pianist Jade Simmons

About a year ago I stumbled across pianist Jade Simmons and her accompanying account for one of her creative babies, Emerge Already! on twitter.  Her profile photos immediately pulled me in because neither were your typical profile photo, especially for a musician.  One photo was of this gorgeous woman with a smile that I truly didn't believe could get any larger - I just wanted to contact her and invite to our house for dinner.  In the other, she was this stunning fashionista, see the photo to the left,  donning this fantastic large hat that I could never wear with even half the style she does.  And it was one of the most curiosity inducing photos I had ever seen.  Almost magically, I found myself on her website and blog, wanting to learn more about who this musician was and the more I read, the more I saw and heard, the more I wanted to just stand up and shout, "Yes!  She's is on to something!!"  After following her for at least a year now, I do believe it is safe to say that I was right with that first reaction.  Jade Simmons is a musician who is living out much of what I've been dreaming about these past few years - she is finding her own niche, she is allowing herself to just be herself, she is communicating with her diverse audiences, and she is doing all this while also being a mom and a wife, just like me.  

So it's not hard to understand why I whole-heartedly said, "Yes!" when Jade contacted me a few weeks ago to ask if I'd be interested in having my blog be a stop on her Emerge Already! The Ultimate Guide blog tour.  I had just read her newly published book and was eager to get a chance to talk to her in person about some of the questions that popped into my head while reading.  I was curious to hear what advice she might have to give to someone like me - a musician that realized long ago that I wasn't competition material, and that I didn't really want to pursue the traditional performing route complete with managers, recording contracts, tours and the like which is what a portion of her book is devoted to.  I also decided early on that it was more important to me to be a musician in addition to being a wife and mother.  So although I'm not a professional interviewer in any way (in fact the whole idea terrified me!), I put on my interviewer hat and spent a lovely hour chatting away with this wonderful woman that is just as vivacious, energetic, and passionate as I thought she would be.

Without further ado from me, here is Part I of our interview.  Come back tomorrow for Part II.  I hope you enjoy and encourage you to leave comments and questions here for Jade.  I'll be sure that she gets them.  

Part I: Epiphanies, Evolutions, Making Art while Making Babies:

If you're interested in learning more about what she has to say, please do check out her book.  If you decide you want to purchase it be sure to click here and to enter in the coupon code NX84V to get the book for only $5 compared to the $7.99 list price.  


  1. Erica, you're awesome! Thanks so much for hosting Emerge Already. I hope our conversation is beneficial to those who listen in. Beyond the Notes is the perfect place for this discussion. Your insights were much appreciated and it's easy to see why your readers are such a lucky crew, I should know...I'm one of them!

    Gosh, those eyes of yours, to die for!

  2. I love the conversation about breaking free from the "box." Why torture ourselves to fit in where it may not be an exact fit? The concept of defining yourself, your niche, is definitely the first step in being not only comfortable with who you are as a musician, but it will also attract the right audience for you as well. Good stuff!

  3. Aw, Jade...thank you! I keep thinking about our chat and it's really gotten me dreaming again. Ha! Now I really need to do something about that.

    Here's hoping some of you rubbed off on me.


  4. Thank you for reading and for your comments, Shoshana. They mean a lot coming from you!

    I hope you enjoy Part II tomorrow as well.


  5. I second that Shoshana. If anyone knows about Audience Development, it's you!