He is the best of us all.”

— Chucho Valdés

Short Bio

Award-winning pianist and composer Edward Simon hails from Venezuela. He made his first recording as a leader in 1994 (Beauty Within, Audioquest), giving birth to the Edward Simon Trio. Since then, he founded several other ensembles such as: the Edward Simon Quartet, Ensemble Venezuela and Afinidad. Today, the Edward Simon Trio has become an established voice with five recordings and recent performances at well-known jazz venues around the world.

Simon has recorded 15 critically acclaimed albums as leader, including two New York Times Top Ten Jazz Records of the Year: Edward Simon (1995) and Simplicitas (2005). His recording Unicity was voted "Best CD of 2007" by Downbeat. He has appeared as guest artist on more than 50 recordings, including Paquito D'Rivera's Grammy Award winning Funk Tango (Best Latin Jazz Album, 2007) and several Grammy Award nominated albums.

Simon is a three-time Chamber Music America New Jazz Works grantee and a 2014 Doris Duke Impact Award nominee. In 2010 Simon was named Guggenheim Fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. That same year he became a member of the SFJAZZ Collective, a prominent musician/composer jazz ensemble dedicated to creating new work and highlighting the music of historically significant jazz composers of the modern era. His recent recording recording with the SFJAZZ Collective Wonder, received the 2014 NAACP Image Award. He is currently instructor at the California Jazz Conservatory, resident artist at the Brubeck Institute and Visiting Jazz Artist at Western Michigan University.

Simon's recent album Trio Live in New York at Jazz Standard (Sunnyside Records), featuring John Patitucci and Brian Blade, was selected among Best Releases of 2013 by All About Jazz. His latest release, Venezuelan Suite (Sunnyside Records), received 4 and 1/2 star from Downbeat and was selected among Best Latin Releases of 2014 by The New York City Jazz Record.

Read the complete biography.

High-res photos


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High res. promo photo 2 Photo credits: Scott Chernis 10.2 MB
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Press quotes

"One of the strongest pianist of his generation, with intuitive empathy and drum-like ingenuity, and solos compositionally with passionate elegance."

Ted Panken, Downbeat

"Simon's music—whether it's a complex chart like the episodic and dramatically expansive "Intention" or the spare melancholy of "My Love For You," a solo piano piece that bookends Poesia with two different takes—has always been emotionally deep. With the at once challenging and beautiful Poesia, he has once again delivered an album that deserves a spot as one of the best piano trio records of the year."

-John Kelman, AllAboutJazz.com

"[Simon] is less talked about than many other important jazz pianists from the Caribbean and South America, but he may be the most complete creative artist among them."

-Thomas Conrad, Jazztimes

Edward Simon is worth experiencing. With a very down home style and attitude, he exudes humility that is rare this [sic] days. Real people, with real talent!

-Latin Beat Magazine

[Poesía] A majestic trio record, with “Giant Steps” the most enthralling of many highspots.

-Tony Hall, Jazzwise

"Mr. Simon's touch, light and warm, allows for his music to drift calmly, taking its time to get to where it has to go."

-The New York Times

"He doesn't go in for dazzle and fleet-fingered runs but contents himself with digging in and mining the music for drama and invention. He often turns these rural sounds into deep emotional statements."

-Jazz Journal International

"Simon is an important presence on the jazz and world music scene."

-Los Angeles Times

Awards & Honors

Chamber Music America New Jazz Works, 2014

Doris Duke Award Nominee, 2014

MacDowell Fellowship, 2011

Guggenheim Fellowship, 2010

New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Music Composition, 2008

Chamber Music America, New Jazz Works, 2008

Fulbright Senior Specialist, The J. William Fulbright Scholarship Board, 2008

Unicity, Voted Best Album, DOWNBEAT, 2007

State of Florida Music Composition Fellowship, 2007

New York Times Top Ten Jazz Records of the Year, 2005 | 1995

Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship in Jazz Composition, 2005

Chamber Music America, New Works: Creation and Presentation, 2004

Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition finalist, 1994


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