Mr. Simmonds began his musical career in Spanish Harlem New York City at the Boriqua Workshop, under the tutelage of John Mason and the Quiñonez brothers. He later furthered his studies with Chief James Hawthorne Bey in Queens New York, at the Bernice Johnson dance School. Following this experience he joined the International African American Ballet, where he studied the music, dance & songs of the Old Mali Empire West Africa, with Olukose Wiles, John Blandford, Rhonda Morman and Hazel Starks-Bryant. From these master teachers he gained a solid foundation and was made to realize how important it is to continue studying throughout his life.
After leaving the International African American Ballet in 1982 he continued his studies with many master musicians and teachers both African and American.
He became Co-founder and Associate Director for both the Body Forms Dance and Fitness Studio in Jersey City, New Jersey and the African Performing Arts and Culture Center, of Newark New Jersey. He has performed and recorded with many musical groups and dance companies.
Mr. Simmonds is a former consultant for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Artist in Residence Program, and Adjunct faculty member of the New Jersey City University.
The following list represents some of the companies and institutions he has worked with to date.
The Drummers Path
Sule Greg Wilson
Inspirations and Feel the Spirit CD’s
The Spirit of Life Ensemble
International African American Ballet
African Performing Arts and Culture Center
Ayomide Collective Dance Company
Body Forms Dance and Fitness Studio
Bambara Drumming Society
Black Orchid Dance Company
Hedzule Dance Company
Zawadi Dance Company
P.A.K.A. Dance Company
Pyramid Dance Company
Sinque Dance Company
Spectrum Afrikans Dance Company
The Seventh Dance Company
The Forces of Nature Dance Company
Brooklyn College, N.Y.
Bloomfield College, N.Y.C.
City College of New York
College of the State of N.J.
Colombia University, N.Y.C.
Essex County College, N.J.
Hunter College, N.Y.C.
Long Island University
Manhattan Community College
New Jersey City University
Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Rutgers University, Newark & New Brunswick
St. Peters College
Seaton Hall University
Stony Brook University
Brooklyn Academy of Music
Central Park Delacourt Theater
Newark Symphony Hall
Liberty State Park, Peoples Festival
Lincoln Center Outdoor Theater
Military Park, Newark New Jersey
Museum of Natural History
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
Prospect Park, Brooklyn New York
P.S.E&G Outdoor Summer Fest.
Brooklyn Public Library
Detroit Public Library
Elizabeth Public Library
East Orange Public Library
Hillside Public Library
Jersey City Public Library
Newark Public Library
Plainfield Hillside Public Library
1998 Good Will games, Volleyball site Central Park N.Y.C.
Arts Horizon, Inc.
Africa Newark Festival
Brooklyn Academy of Music
DANCE AFRICA, Brooklyn N.Y.
Hudson County Housing Authority
Hudson County Board of Education
International African Arts Festival
Jersey City Public Library, C.A.S.
NJPAC, Arts Education Department
New York Housing Authority
Newark Festival of the Peoples
Plainfield Hillside Public Library, 21st Century Learning Centers
United Nations, UNICEF, I have a Dream Foundation, Dreamer Forum, June 1992
You can email Mr. Simmonds at firstname.lastname@example.org