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 “an eye-opener… [a] celebration of life” (Repeat Performances). His work draws its inspiration from jazz, funk, Balinese Gamelan, abstract expressionism, Chilean folk song, and a thousand ever-changing fascinations.
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 has won the Brehm Prize in Choral Composition from the University of Michigan, the POLYPHONOS competition from the Esoterics, and was the winner of the TorQ Percussion Quartet’s first annual Composition Competition. He has also received recognition for his work from the Pacific Chorale, the Fifth House Ensemble, and CBDNA, among others. Greg was a featured composer at the 2013 Mizzou International Composers’ Festival and was the 2013-14 young composer-in-residence for the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings. Greg’s music is published by Hal Leonard, and recordings are available from the Fifth House, SMS Classical, and Terpsichore labels, as well as in the Naxos of America catalogue.
As a jazz musician, Greg has studied with Bill Lucas, Ellen Rowe, and Brad Goode. He’s performed with the Rhythm Society Orchestra, the Jodi-Renee Band, the Park Hill Brass, and the Last Riot, at venues ranging from Dazzle Jazz Club to the University of Michigan Museum of Art. 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. Recent projects include ‘Outskirts’ for orchestra and jazz quintet, and ‘Virginia,’ an album-length compilation of composed works for jazz musicians. Greg also stays busy as a jazz pedagogue, having worked with the Detroit Symphony Civic Jazz Orchestra and taught at the University of Michigan Jazz Festival and the Rudolf Steiner School.
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. Greg is currently Assistant Professor of Composition at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; prior to his appointment at UNL, he taught at Concordia University Ann Arbor, the Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the University of Colorado. He is also part of the composition artist-faculty at the Brevard Music Center.
Greg currently lives in Lincoln with his wife, his stepson, and his Boston terrier. When he’s not composing or playing, he enjoys hockey, bourbon, and short stories.