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Bill Simenson Orchestra
February 4, 2014 @ 8:30 pm - 11:30 pm
The Bill Simenson Orchestra is a 17 piece big band (5 saxes, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, guitar, piano, bass, and drums). The orchestra is available for concert and club performance as well as artistic and educational collaborations.
Bill Simenson (trumpet) has been performing professionally in the Twin Cities for nearly thirty years. He has his degree in Music and Political Science from Augsburg College (Minneapolis, MN 1980). From 1981-83 he attended the University of Trondheim (Norway) where he studied music at the graduate level. While in Trondheim he also directed Kjellerbandet; a big band made up of university students from the various institutions in the city.
Upon his return in 1983 he began performing in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. He has performed regularly with such groups as the Wolverines Classic Jazz Orchestra, Latin Sounds Orchestra, the Cedar Avenue Big Band (founding member), the Jazz Composers’ Art Ensemble, the Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra, Salsa Blanca, and Seven Steps to Havana. He worked with David Byrne of “Talking Heads” on the the Robert Wilson production of “The Knee Plays” at the Walker Art Center and has also performed at Mixed Blood, Guthrie, Cricket, and Children’s Theaters; with groups and artists such as the JazzMn Big Band, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, the Ordway Big Band, De Stiljistics, the American Classic Jazz Orchestra, the big band for the Minnesota Vikings, and Jack McDuff; as well as with his own ensembles. He also led the band for the Minnesota North Stars hockey team and has backed such artists as Cab Calloway, Steve Allen, Tony Sandler, Maureen McGovern, Joan Rivers, Mitzi Gaynor, the Temptations, and the Four Tops. He remains active as a freelance performer and has played in styles ranging from classical to rock and R&B to polka.
He has studied trumpet with Michael Hesse (Norwegian Opera, Oslo, Norway), Reidar Bye (Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, Norway), Dag Tunaal (Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, Norway), Michael Brand (St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, MN), Greg Lewis, (Minneapolis Jazz/Studio Trumpeter, MN), and Ron Hasselmann (Minnesota Orchestra). In addition he has taken lessons with Charley Davis (Los Angeles, CA), Lew Soloff (New York, NY), John Ridgeon (Leicester, England), Robert Baca (University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire), Bobby Shew (Los Angeles, CA), Harry Kvebaek (Oslo, Norway), Steve Wright (Minneapolis, MN), and Kenny Wheeler (London, England). Currently he studies with Laurie Frink (New York, NY).
He has teaches trumpet privately in a variety of locations in the Twin Cities. Please click on the “Lessons” tab for more information.
Awards include: Bush Foundation Fellowship in Music Composition (1999), Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant (1990).