Greg Simon (b. 1985) is a composer and jazz trumpeter hailing from California, by way of Oregon and Colorado. Greg’s music has been called “gregarious [and] muscular” (Palm Beach Arts) and has been praised for its “high energy, lovely solo turns, and upbeat personality” (Fanfare Magazine). Drawing its inspiration from jazz, funk, Balinese gamelan, Chilean Nueva Canción, and street art (among many other sources), his music explores heritage and intersection, aiming to create a common space between the myriad communities it reflects. Greg is currently Assistant Professor of Composition and Jazz Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he also directs the Flyover New Music Series. He is also part of the composition artist-faculty at the Brevard Music Center.
Greg’s works have been performed by ensembles and performers around the country, including Alarm Will Sound, the Fifth House Ensemble, the Playground Ensemble of Denver, and the California All-State Symphonic Band. He has presented work at conferences for the American Band College, the College Band Directors’ National Association, the World Saxophone Congress, and the North American Saxophone Alliance, as well as being featured in radio and digital broadcasts from Pendulum New Music and WFMT. Greg is the recipient of awards from National Association of Composers/USA, the Esoterics, the University of Michigan, and the TorQ Percussion Quartet for achievement in composition. He has also received recognition for his work from the Pacific Chorale, the Fifth House Ensemble, and CBDNA, among others. Greg was the recipient of the 2018 Nebraska Music Teachers’ Association Commission and the 2015 Young Composer-in-Residence for the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings. His music is published by Hal Leonard, and has been recorded on labels including Blue Griffin, Equilibrium, Open G, SMS Classical, Terpsichore, and Fifth House.
As a jazz musician, Greg has studied with Bill Lucas, Ellen Rowe, and Brad Goode. He’s performed with the Marcus Lewis Big Band, the Shawn Bell Quartet, the Rhythm Society Orchestra, the Jodi-Renee Band, and many others, at venues ranging from Dazzle Jazz Club to the University of Michigan Museum of Art; and played in the bands of The Temptations, Hannah Huston, and Andrew Dost of fun. As part of his ongoing efforts to bridge the classical and jazz worlds, he’s premiered and presented works for improvising musicians by a variety of composers, including Stephen Rush, Hunter Ewen, Michael Theodore, and himself. Currently, Greg plays trumpet/flugelhorn alongside his colleagues in the UNL Faculty Jazz Ensemble, and in 2019 directed the UNL Jazz Orchestra in their UNL Composers’ Showcase. Greg also stays busy as a jazz pedagogue, having worked with the Detroit Symphony Civic Jazz Orchestra and given clinics at the Westside Jazz Festival and the University of Michigan Jazz Festival.
Greg is a fluent performer in the Balinese gamelan tradition, having spent five years with Denver’s Gamelan Tunas Mekar. A dedicated educator, Greg has written on pedagogy for the Oxford University Press Handbook, and he designed and wrote the content for eMedia’s Music Theory Tutor.
Greg has studied composition with Evan Chambers, Michael Daugherty, Kristin Kuster, Carter Pann, Daniel Kellogg, and Robert Hutchinson. He holds a D.M.A. from the University of Michigan, an M.M. from the University of Colorado, and a B.A. from the University of Puget Sound. Prior to his appointment at UNL, he taught at Concordia University Ann Arbor, the Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the University of Colorado. Greg currently co-chairs the Society of Composers, Inc.‘s Region VI and serves on the board for Lincoln’s Capital Jazz Society. He is a member of ASCAP. When he’s not composing or playing, Greg enjoys hockey, bourbon, and short stories.