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 intense soulfulness, slyly-insinuated vocal 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 with a natural allure and raw connection to music - treating them to a refreshingly rare 'dig-deep' kind of intimate conversation, delicately wrapped in velvety sweetness and poetic charm.
Known for soulful takes on life and love, she draws on her early influences of Ray Charles, Etta James, Aretha Franklin & Joni Mitchell, alongside her favourite women in jazz - Billie Holliday, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone.
Simone can be found regularly performing across the Greater Toronto Area and beyond as a duo, trio, and full band. In 2019 alone, she has been featured in notable jazz clubs such as The Jazz Bistro, Manhattans, etc., as well as at the 2019 Winterfolk Blues & Roots Festival (selected as one of 3 opening night performers in addition to the scheduled performances), the Distillery District's Music Series, World of Jazz Festival and the Merrickville Jazz Festival.
With the successful launch of "Settling Up", Simone is now planning a follow-up album alongside raising her two children, teaching music privately and acting as musical director in musical theatre. Simone never stops planning. Born an optimist (literally), 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.