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“I find in writing songs that I’m often walking that thin line – I’m trying to make a personal, individual experience universal,” muses singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Simmons.

From her homebase on the coast of Italy’s beautiful Lake Garda, Simmons collaboratively leads two different ensembles – Hippie Tendencies and NoteSpeak – with keyboardist, arranger, and songwriter Marco Cremaschini, each deeply but differently informed by the struggles and triumphs in Simmons’ own life.

Simmons and Cremaschini have divided most of their attention between the neo-folk, neo-soul project Hippie Tendencies and spoken-word-jazz project NoteSpeak.  Hippie Tendencies has released two full-length albums and their cover of “Here’s To You/The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti,” which recants the execution of two Italian immigrants wrongly convicted for murder during a 1920 armed robbery in Massachusetts, was adopted by Amnesty International as the theme for their #herestoyou campaign.

A unique collaboration that intertwines poetical and musical forms to raise awareness of real-life triumphs and struggles around the world, Notespeak explores creative paths established by such artists as The Last Poets, Gil Scott-Heron, and Brian Jackson, but venture down contemporary avenues to address current topics of which many remain unaware. Musically and vocally, NoteSpeak constantly changes, shifting from style to style – acoustic jazz solos into hip-hop beats into harmonized gospel vocals into electronic jazz and fusion into free verse rhyming – and yet seems to consistently groove. Simmons’ delivery swims in the deep waters connecting Nina Simone to Jill Scott, completely obliterating the line between vocalist and poetess: Warning like a mother lioness, whippersnapping through urban haunts, and curiously wondering about it all.

“I love the exploration of the spoken, sung and played mingled. It’s been a joy working with new musicians with NoteSpeak. We’re convinced of its relevance as an original observation deriving from our own unique experience (as each of ours is) of the world today; and in particular we are trying to call attention to some phenomena of which many are unaware,” Simmons explains. “In NoteSpeak, we’re giving ourselves the freedom to just tell these stories with as much craft and beauty and compassion as we can muster.”

WATCH AND LISTEN selected music videos

Watch and Listen – Deemer

 

Watch and Listen – Ivo Neame

 

Watch and Listen – Eliza Oakes

 

Watch and Listen – Isobella Burnham

 

Watch and Listen – JazznewbloodTAPES

 

Yazz Ahmed In Conversation

 

Watch and Listen – JazznewbloodTAPES

 

Watch and Listen – Open Conversations EP1 Part 2

 

Watch and Listen – Open Conversations EP1 Part 1

 

Watch and Listen – DJ Ritu

 

CONNECTSMUSIC LIVE – JP Cooper

 

CONNECTSMUSIC LIVE – Bellowhead

 

CONNECTSMUSIC LIVE – Maati Baani

 

CONNECTSMUSIC LIVE – The Bengsons

 

CONNECTSMUSIC LIVE – Trypl

 

CONNECTSMUSIC LIVE – Randolph Matthews & Yaron Stavi

 

CONNECTSMUSIC LIVE – Patchwork Jazz Orchestra

 

CONNECTSMUSIC LIVE – Remi Harris

 

CONNECTSMUSIC LIVE – Ola Onabulé

 

- click here to add events, both online and in-person

Sarah Moule and Simon Wallace’s Stormy Emotions

 
Jun 30, 2021
  Pizza Express Jazz Club

Jazz At The George IV – The Blues Engineers

 
Jun 17, 2021
  Boston Room at George IV

Jazz At The George IV – Trio Manouche Midsummer Special

 
Jun 24, 2021
  Boston Room at George IV

Daniel Casimir

 
Jun 28, 2021
  The Cockpit

Faye Pattons Jazz Speakeasy

 
Jul 25, 2021
 

Irene Serra 4TET

 
Jun 17, 2021
  Toulouse Lautrec Jazz Club

Janette Mason – D’Ranged featuring David McAlmont and Anna Ross

 
Jun 25, 2021
  Online only event

coming soon

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