Simone Morris - Jazz Singer, Songwriter, Musician
Simone's innate musicality was evident at an early age, beginning in classical piano at age 6. She realized early that music was a powerful way of expressing emotion and it became an integral part of who she was as a person.
Mature interpretive and technical abilities caught the attention of teachers, and she was deemed an outstanding natural talent. As a youngster, Simone volunteered for anything musical - from piano performance competitions where she frequently placed in the Top 5 (often the youngest in her group), to concert & stage bands, musical theatre productions (leading the pit-band), accompanying school choirs and instrumental Royal Conservatory exams, to summer jobs as Musical Director in musical theatre.
With an array of performance and direction experience already under her belt, she went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music from York University (Toronto), focusing on contemporary improvisation. She discovered her voice in a life-changing way as a member of, and soloist in, the University's Jazz Choir ("Wibijazz'n'”). The joy of singing caused her to re-focus, hone her chops, and begin her lifelong path as a vocalist. A born-communicator, Simone knew she'd found the ideal form of musical expression for her.
Morris exudes an intriguing blend of deep connection to music and words, technique, subtlety, and that touch of amusing spunk that keeps audiences hanging on every word. She artfully lures listeners into her craftily spun musical stories, treating them to an intimate 'dig-deep' kind of musical experience, delicately wrapped in velvety sweetness and poetic charm.
Known for her soulful takes on life and love, Simone draws from the influence of early obsessions with singers such as Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, & Joni Mitchell, but it is in Jazz that she has always felt most firmly rooted. Her father's jazz records echoed through the family home all the time, accompanied by detailed stories about the musicians. Her dad was quite a storyteller. The Jazz Voices -- specifically Jazz Women -- became of particular interest to Simone and she lovingly immersed herself in the smallest details of her favourite women in jazz - Billie Holliday, Anita O'Day, Sarah Vaughan, Betty Carter, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone...
Simone can be found regularly performing across the Greater Toronto Area and beyond as a duo, trio, and full band. Featured in notable jazz clubs such as The Jazz Bistro, Manhattans, etc., as well as a multitude of festival stages, Simone is ready for the next phase -- a second album..
After a successful launch of her debut album in 2018 ("Settling Up"), a second album of original music is firmly underway, alongside raising her 2 children, teaching piano and voice privately, working as Musical Director in musical theatre, etc. Born an optimist, she is committed to leading a meaningful life - for the rest of her life - with the firm belief that it is never too late for anything.