Monday, January 4, 2010 'Sergio Mims Interviews Classical Pianist Jade Simmons'

[TOP: Revolutionary Rhythm; Jade Simmons, Piano; Russell Pinkston, Samuel Barber, John Corigliano, & Daniel Bernard Roumain, Composers; E1 Entertainment KIC CD 7760 (2009) BOTTOM: Photo of Jade Simmons from]

Jade Simmons has been the subject of several previous AfriClassical posts about her CD and concerts. Her website is Our friend Sergio Mims is a classical music host at the radio station WHPK-FM in Chicago. He recently interviewed her:
Arts and Culture
Classically Modern
Sergio Mims Interviews Classical Pianist Jade Simmons
31 décembre 2009
by Sergio Mims
“Among the new generation of classical music artists, few are making the huge impact and receiving the kind of acclaim that pianist Jade Simmons has been of late. The Charleston, South Carolina native/Northwestern University Graduate/Rice University Shephard School of Music graduate/former Miss Illinois and First Runner Up at the 2000 Miss America Pageant has been gaining well-deserved notices and standing ovations from audiences for her extraordinary talent and her eclectic mix of music genres all of which are on full display in her new Koch International CD release 'Revolutionary Rhythms.' The album is a reflection of her varied influences from classical modern composers such as Samuel Barber and John Corigliano to pieces such as 'Hip-Hop Etudes' by composer DBR.

''Recently had an opportunity to talk to Ms Simmons (who was also featured in 2007 as one of Ebony Magazine’s 'Young Leaders Under 30') when she was recently Artist-in-Residence at the University of Chicago for a concert performance and a series of lectures.

EBONY: Let’s begin with a question involving me if you don’t mind. My editor was trying to get me to write this piece about being a classical music lover in the age of hip-hop, but I refused because it sounded to me, probably wrongly I’m sure, like saying: 'Write something about how it feels to be a freak.' So how would you answer that question?
SIMMONS: I’ve never felt like a freak. It was never this big delineation between, say classical and hip hop. It was just another form that I love. Hip-hop I dance to. Classical, some of it I do dance to (laughs). Even a piece like Rachmaninov’s 'Rhapsody on a Theme' by Paganini, some parts when I play it I have to back off a bit because I’m grooving way too long on it (laughs).”

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