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Keynote Speaker Jade Simmons
Jade Simmons
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Jade Simmons

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Are you looking for a one-of-a-kind, out-of-this-world, life changing keynote speaker? How about one that will get you standing ovations?

Summary of Jade Simmons

How do you get to be named Classical Music's "No.1 Maverick?” Just ask Jade Simmons. By repeatedly defying expectations, delivering riveting performances and innovating at every turn, Simmons is one of the most versatile concert artists on the scene today. Simmons, however, doesn’t simply play the piano to impress audiences. She uses the piano as an instrument for providing inspiration, information and entertainment in order to profoundly move people. Listed as one of Ebony magazine's Top 30 Leaders under 30, Simmons’ impressive musical background and diverse cultural experiences have made her a pioneer and source of inspiration for her legions of fans. In her truly unique keynotes, Jade Simmons offers her inspiring messages alongside her world renowned piano performances. Her expertise has been called upon by an array of organizations looking to create a culture of excellence and foster meaningful change. A gifted speaker, her presentations give powerful insights into how creating a unique leadership brand can inspire the creation of ideas that will have a lasting impact on the world. With boundless energy and intellect, Jade Simmons teaches audiences not only how to lead, but how to start achieving beyond what they ever thought possible.

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Powerhouse Speaker, Rockstar Concert Pianist & Emergence Expert

"Jade Simmons is not a speaker…she's an experience."
---CEO, Collegiate Entrepreneur's Organization, Natl Conference 2014

How do you get to be named Classical Music's "No.1 Maverick"? By repeatedly defying expectations, delivering riveting performances and combining passion and innovation at every turn. Called a "musical force of nature", Jade Simmons is easily one of the most exciting and versatile artists on the scene today.

Most recently, Jade has been tapped to portray legendary concert jazz pianist & entertainer Lillette Harris in the upcoming new musical Lillette’s Rhythm Club. Jade will also be featured in the PBS documentary about the world renowned and widely respected artist.

For her work on and away from the stage, Essence magazine featured Jade alongside First Lady Michelle Obama and Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas as a part of their Style & Substance List which highlights women who have expanded the definition of beauty and achievement. Additionally, she has been recognized two years in a row by Symphony Magazine, listed as one of Ebony magazine’s Top 30 Leaders under 30 (2008) and named Houston’s Best Arts Ambassador by the Houston Press.

Last Spring, she made waves as one of the rare classical artists invited to perform at the taste-making South by Southwest Festival where her show was ultimately branded one of the "Best of SXSW 2014".

For the highly anticipated Netflix documentary on the legendary Nina Simone, Jade performed selections by Chopin, Debussy and Bach for the footage highlighting Simone's early Classical beginnings. The film premiered January 2015 at the Sundance Film Festival.

Founder of the School of Emergence, Jade coaches and trains Visionaries, Influencers and Powerhouses-in-the-making how to market their messages, upgrade their profiles and expand their platforms. In April of 2016, she hosted The Audacious Life 2016 in Houston, a bold event blending faith-based inspiration and marketplace motivation.

As a speaker and presenter, Jade's impact spans a multitude of industries and touches an incredibly varied demographic, from kids to corporate. For business, technology and the arts, she speaks powerfully on transformative leadership, Maverick Behavior™, out-of-the-box branding, discovering creative identity and innovation to the likes of the Food Market institute, Mass Mutual, Self-Employment in the Arts, TedX and the Hershey Company.

Her female and faith-centered audiences receive uncommon inspiration in the areas of Supernatural Confidence, the discovery of purpose and the pursuit of passion. An unusually engaging media personality, American Public Media's Fred Child invited Jade to co-host an episode of his hit radio show Performance Today and the arts world has come to know her as the knowledgeable and relatable face of the webcast for the Van Cliburn International Piano competition (Ft. Worth, TX) and the XIV Tchaikovsky International Competition (St. Petersburg/Moscow). There she introduces all the performances and conducts live interviews with renowned figures in Classical music including the legendary pianist Van Cliburn, renowned conductor Leonard Slatkin, violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, lauded American composer John Corigliano and even acclaimed news veteran Bob Schieffer.

Jade is a passionate advocate for the arts in education and has created multiple programs suitable for all ages and used with great success across the country.

In her inimitable career as a concert pianist, Jade has remained committed to expanding the boundaries of Classical music and its presentation and as a result has revolutionized the concert platform. Today, she offers an incredibly diverse mix of repertoire from the Classics to the cutting edge and audiences have come to expect creative projects backed by riveting performances.

Ms. Simmons has toured the US extensively in recital and with orchestra highlighted by performances at venues as wide-ranging as Ravinia, the Chicago Sinfonietta in Symphony Hall, New York's Town Hall and the Detroit Institute of Arts. She has performed at The White House and has also received the Sphinx Organization's Medal of Excellence in a concert held at the US Supreme Court hosted by Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

In 2009, Jade proudly became the inaugural Spotlight Artist for Music for Autism, an organization committed to creating meaningful, inclusive concert experiences for families living with autism. Currently in production is Jade's concert adventure, -Romejii (Ro- MEE- jee), a stunning one-woman show spanning Rachmaninoff to Rap with world-class storytelling in between.

Simmons' multiple talents make her a true Renaissance woman of the millennium taking her in the direction of triple #1 Amazon Best-Selling Author for her new book Audacious Prayers for World Changers, founder of Superwoman Records, arts presenter, coach/consultant, and she writes about the arts and its intersection with pop culture, politics and society for the Huffington Post.

A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Jade completed her undergraduate work in piano performance at Northwestern University. While there, she went on to become Miss Chicago, Miss Illinois and ultimately first runner-up at the 2000 Miss America Pageant. In that capacity she served as an advocate for Youth Suicide Prevention and ultimately testified in front of Congress alongside Tipper Gore, Surgeon General Satcher and author Danielle Steele on behalf of Mental Health funding. Ms. Simmons received her Master's degree at Rice University in Houston, TX where today she teaches a graduate level course on Artist Career Development in the University of Houston's new Program in Arts Leadership.

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Piano Parables
Uncommon Lessons in Unleashing Momentum in Life & Business

Audiences enjoy an unforgettable combination of inspiration, information and entertainment in one dazzling keynote experience! In this signature keynote, Jade provides a truly unique blend of simple fun-loving entertainment balanced with potent and applicable information, illuminating performances, and inspirational speaking. Jade customizes the program for each event, weaving in the appropriate audience takeaways. Piano Parables is perfect for corporations and organizations striving to unleash momentum, brand and market like a maverick, rejuvenate creativity, and inspire mind-blowing innovation.

Activate your audience by selecting from 10 highly customizable takeaways:

  1. The Value of Vision: The importance of establishing clear vision and simultaneously allowing it to expand and adapt for maximum impact.
  2. How to Stir Up Creativity & Innovation: Jade covers the process of unlocking a company or individual's creative identity, uncovering possibilities for originality and spurring on innovation only at the expense of status quo.
  3. Trading in Man-Made Confidence for Supernatural Confidence: An eye-opening redefining of Confidence as we know it that leads to a more sustainable version and a heightened sense of potential for impact in one's surroundings.
  4. Discovering your Purpose & Calling: A signature topic for Jade, she talks about the importance of starting all projects and endeavors from a place of purpose and necessity to the world around us.
  5. Unleashing Momentum: Taking a unique perspective based on unleashing momentum from the inside out instead of building or creating it externally.
  6. The Habit of Record-breaking: Include strategies on creating and maintaining a culture of excellence, and techniques on how to push through analysis paralysis.
  7. The Art of Resilience: Surprisingly inspirational, learn how to slay fear, reframe failure and rejoice in rejection.
  8. A Lifestyle of Urgency 9) Emergence and 10) Maverick Behavior: Lessons revolving around developing a way of life that sees results at a quicker pace once one discovers the urgency behind the solutions they offer. An attitude of Emergence is the habit of always looking for the Level Next, and Maverick Behavior is about succeeding by always looking to do things differently, unexpectedly and powerfully.

Jade uses a concert grand piano to enhance the delivery and audience experience in this 60-mintue program. For Women's events, a version focused on inspiring women to walk more passionately and powerfully in their purpose is also available.

Youth Unwasted!

Jade Simmons wakes up audiences of young adults! Youth Unwasted is the ideal program for commencements and youth conferences. Jade gets young go-getters activated by igniting a passion for a high-octane lifestyle outside the boundaries of school. Young movers and shakers become inspired to serve as catalysts for change in the world around them. From mindless achieving to purposeful boundary breaking, the focus is on finding a passion in life that goes beyond recognition, dedicating a portion of one's life to impacting others. Jade’s presentation offers a strategic plan that sets young world changers on a definitive course of action. Perfect for high school, middle school and college graduations as well as youth rallies.

A faith-based version is available for Christian youth conferences.

The Art of Growing Up Black & Gifted in America
The Singular Tale of a Black, Female, Classical Pianist

This musical and story-filled experience is the unique, inspirational journey of Jade Simmons. Jade shares how she uncovered her creative identity, developed a love affair with classical music, and confronted the implications of race, gender, and faith on the future she chose. As the daughter of a civil rights activist, she learned a lot about choosing her battles by watching her father vehemently fight them all. Equally a product of her mother's faith-focused child rearing, Jade speaks passionately about the role purpose-based living has played in building her diversified career and her life. Her insights are perfect for conferences focusing on diversity, race relations, gender studies, civil rights, and politics. A popular presentation with African American audiences, women's conferences, and emerging artists.

Passion Empowerment

An expert in Passion Empowerment, Jade trains companies how to empower their executives, leaders and employees to harness the power of their personal passions for the benefit of the workplace. This program is centered on the premise that following one’s passion is not always about breaking out of an environment, but sometimes it’s about breaking into your current one in a more effective, powerful and impacting way. Organizations striving to usher in an era of heightened productivity and profit, transformational leadership, improved work environment and greater employee happiness and retention will benefit from this program.

In this four-hour program, Jade provides unique training for corporate leadership audiences. Her presentation combines strategic planning with interactive exercises. A piano is not used in this experience.

The Romejii Residency for College and University Arts Programs

This multi-layered residency designed to activate emerging artists, is the ultimate experience in inspiration, information and entertainment. Residency components include a career development seminar on being Purpose-based, Brand Building, a public lecture on the Art of Growing up Black and Gifted in America and a rousing performance of Romejii.

Pronounced, (Ro- MEE- jee), this stunning one-woman show is Jade's signature concert adventure, spanning Rachmaninoff to Rap with world-class storytelling in between. The residency has a three-part focus as follows:

  1. Jade helps arts and entrepreneurially-focused students discover their creative identity
  2. She brings career development strategy with an emphasis on long-term viability
  3. She encourages the fostering of innovative performances and public Engagement

Romejii is also the realization of Jade’s philosophies on artistic identity, innovation in performance and audience development and serves as a perfect full-circle culmination to the residency.

Designed especially for university settings, Jade generally provides a 60-90 minute seminar with Q&A, a 90-minute concert, and 60 minute lectures. Delivery of the program can be customized over 3 session visits throughout the academic year. For example, she can serve as a guest speaker for various department classes as well as perform both solo and with a student ensemble.

GCU Commencement Address

An excerpt from her Commencement address at Grand Canyon University

Maverick Style

Don't wait around for momentum to find you. Take your unique maverick potential to shape your vision.

On Improvisation

As a classically trained pianist Jade Simmons was trained to only replicate what was on the page in front of her. She discusses how its important for an artist and potential leaders to improvise.

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