One of the most creative and dynamic musicians on the new music scene, Rory Simmons is regarded as having a highly original and distinctive voice as a trumpet-player, producer and composer. He has toured and performed internationally with many artists and as a session musician has worked with Jamie Cullum, Friendly Fires, Paolo Nutini, Cody Chesnutt, Valerie June, Mount Kimbie, Bat For Lashes, Brand New Heavies, The Guillemots and Tim Minchin.
As an artist in his own right, he has released 3 albums with his large ensemble Fringe Magnetic, all gaining widespread press attention. ‘Empty Spaces’ released in Feb 2010 was featured with a live broadcast and interview on BBC Radio 3’s ‘Jazz on 3’. ‘Empty Spaces’ received warm press attention across broadsheets, jazz press and the larger British music press. Fringe Magnetic’s second album ‘Twistic’ was released in 2011 and features Jamie Cullum, Norwegian vocalist Elisabeth Nygaard and British singer Andrew Plummer on album which received glowing reviews from Guardian/Times/FT/Jazzwise/BBC Music Magazine. ‘Clocca’ was released in 2013 to a warm press reception, being described as “confounding expectations, creating a brooding, cinematic soundscape” and “a cinematic rich landscape of flora and fauna – with the occasional miasma of delusional futurism”.
In 2011, Rory wrote and produced an album for strings and electronics, called ‘Glass Dancers’. This album took elements of electronica and contemporary classical music and formed this work in the mould of Max De Wardener and Nicolas Bernier. This album was played on radio 3 including on Fiona Talkingtons Late Junction.
Radio 3 and Late Junction commissioned a collaboration between Rory and Fyfe Dangerfield of the Guillemots in early 2012, which resulted in a 4 track live session and one of the most downloaded podcasts of the collaboration series. Since this broadcast, Fyfe and Rory have continued to work together and are planning to record in the future.
At the end of 2012, Babel Label released a Norwegian collaboration co-written and co-produced by Rory. ‘Eyes Of A Blue Dog’ received significant international press and radio play, being compared to Portishead and Boards Of Canada. Their debut album ‘Rise’ was also pressed on heavyweight glass mastered vinyl. Eyes Of A Blue Dog have performed at festivals across UK and Europe and are beginning their second album in early 2014.
As a producer, recent remixes have included reworkings of tracks for Jamie Cullum, Nostalgia 77, Troyka and Kit Downes. As an arranger, Rory has worked on arrangements for Jamie Cullum, Emilia Martensson. Other production credits include a 6 track EP with new alt pop group EMBLA, a new album from Emilia Martensson with strings, coand shaping string and brass arrangements for Tru Thoughts artist ‘Natural Self’ and UK indie band ‘Thumpers’. He has also worked with many of the leading names in British and European jazz including Iain Ballamy, Gerard Presencer, Stephan Payen, Barak Schmool, John Etheridge, FIRE Collective, Byron Wallen, Grand Union Orchestra and Mike Garrick Jazz Britannia Orchestra.
As a composer, Rory has been commissioned by SPNM, Institute of Education, Emulsion Festival and Music Orbits for various creative, cross genre projects. His own 10-piece project Fringe Magnetic released their debut album in February 2010 As an arranger, he has worked with artists such as Jamie Cullum, Friendly Fires, Krystle Warren including providing arrangements for Jamie Cullum’s 2010 BBC Proms appearance. Festival appearances and gigs over the past 10 years have included Carnegie Hall, Montreux Jazz Festival, Royal Albert Hall, North Sea Jazz Festival, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Fuji Rock Japan and the Hollywood Bowl to name a few.
In 2008, Rory worked extensively with trumpet player Alex Bonney on a new repertoire of contemporary trumpet duets; culminating in performances at the QEH and for Non-Classical. Also in 2009 he was commissioned to commemorate the music of Raymond Scott for an SPNM night at Kings Place, London. He has now been awarded several grants by the PRSF for innovative creative projects over the past 8 years and continues to work on highly respected projects. Rory was also one of 8 musicians chosen to take part in the Serious Artist Development Scheme ‘Take V’.