Individual is in Building Healthy Communities: Richmond
Phone: (510) 234-5624
A native of Richmond, California, Simmons is a graduate of Reed College in American Studies/Jazz with postgraduate work in Ethnomusicology/Jazz Composition at Indiana University. He has taught classical African music, Brazilian dance and percussion, European classical and jazz piano, composition, and theory, in addition to writing, producing and directing a number of original works for both theatre and film. He has performed with Olodum (Bahia, Brazil), 1981, 1984, 1985; Corpo Santo (Afro-Brazilian Dance Theatre) in SF; the Ladzekpo Brothers West African Music & Dance Ensemble, 1982-present; and the Japanese Music Institute of America in SF, 1980-present.
Currently, Simmons is the Artistic Director and Iron Triangle Theater Co-Director at the East Bay Center for Performing Arts, roles he has had since 1978, full time since 1982. At the Center, as an artist performer, scholar, and faculty member (since 1978), he has worked to guide the center from a program with a few hundred students to a nationally recognized model institution reaching 2000 students each year. For the past eighteen years, in line with his work at the East Bay Center, Simmons has pioneered the development of a comparative study framework based on a number of authentic performing arts training systems and a growing body of knowledge about human perceptual systems.