EntreMusician of the Month!

Lisa Marie Simmons

Lisa Marie Simmons

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. 

Born in Colorado Springs (CO), Simmons survived several troubled adoptions and foster homes. She found solace, like so many artists, singing in her church choir and was featured soloist with the Boulder (CO) Youth Choir. At nineteen, Simmons moved to New York City to study theater and music at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and perform in various pop, funk, soul, blues and jazz bands throughout the Manhattan club circuit at night.

Manhattan served as the launchpad for five years of geographic and musical globetrotting: From 1993 until 1997, Simmons explored and performed music in Amsterdam, Costa Rica, St. Marten, and France, where she began to compose her own music and lyrics. She continued her travels through Central and South America, and eventually returned to Europe to establish her new artistic home and search for someone to produce her own music.

In time, producer Pieradis Rossini introduced her to Paola Peroni (aka D.J. Groovy), with whom Simmons teamed under the moniker Bacon Popper. Their first single (“Free”) exploded on the 1998 European club scene, reaching #1 on the dance singles chart in France and #2 in Italy. Their second single (“Rejoice in Love”) was quickly followed by a full-length album for which Simmons wrote every lyric.

Lisa Simmons finally stepped out as a solo artist in 1999 with her first single (“Feel It”) and continued to collaborate with various artists and producers throughout Italy. She released her last single as a solo artist (“I Won’t Be Waiting,” with producer Emanuela Gubinelli) in 2004. Since then, 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.

You Will Absolutely Adore Lisa's Artistry & Approach! It's Our Pleasure to Introduce Her As the EntreMusician of the Month!