Norman Simmons Biography

Sarney Norman Simmons, 6 October 1929, Chicago, USA. Simmons studied piano at the Chicago School of Music (1945-49) and then worked as house pianist in various Chicago clubs - the BeeHive (1953-56) and the C&C Lounge (1957-59). In the late 50s he became the accompanist to vocalists Dakota Staton and Ernestine Anderson and then settled in New York. He worked as an arranger for Riverside Records. He recorded with Johnny Griffin and worked with the Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis /Johnny Griffin Quintet. He rarely solos but is an accomplished accompanist who worked with Carmen McRae throughout the 60s and with Joe Williams into the 90s. He has also played with vocalists Anita O’Day, Helen Humes and Betty Carter and with Roy Eldridge and Scott Hamilton and Warren Vaché. He taught for Jazzmobile (1974) and joined the faculty of Paterson State College in 1982.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.