December 9 at 6:30 PM | Free & open to the public
Join us as we welcome Milwaukee native and WCM alum, saxophonist Lenard Simpson, on a virtual trip back home on Wednesday, December 9 for a fun evening of world-class jazz at the next Thomas A. Laskin Jazz Master Class!
Lenard Simpson is a saxophonist, composer and educator from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Lenard was mostly self-taught through high school, but his natural ability and musicianship earned him accolades such as membership in the esteemed Grammy Camp Jazz Session, and an outstanding soloist award at the Mingus Jazz Competition in New York City.
In addition to maintaining an active performing schedule as a leader and sideman, Lenard is also an educator and has taught at several high profile jazz camps including the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Northern Illinois University, and Birch Creek. Additionally, Lenard has taught masterclasses for international Jazz Day in Melbourne, Australia and at the Sitka Jazz Festival in Sitka, Alaska.
Meet Lenard Simpson
Lenard has had the opportunity to play with artists such as pianist and composer-Billy Childs, Clayton Cameron, Kurt Elling and Marquis Hill. Lenard received a B.M in Jazz performance at Northern Illinois University and as a core member of the legendary jazz program’s many award winning ensembles. While studying at NIU, Lenard was awarded first place in Chicago’s esteemed Luminarts Jazz Competition. Upon graduation, Lenard moved to Chicago and soon became one of the city’s top call saxophonists playing sideman to legendary local drummers, George Fludas and Charles Heath. Lenard’s trio has appeared at premier clubs and jazz festivals throughout the Chicago and Milwaukee area.
In 2018, Lenard was selected by a panel of Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, James Newton and Ambrose Akinmusire to be a member of the Thelonious Monk Institute Fellowship, which has since been renamed to the Herbie Hancock Institute. After graduating from the prestigious institute, Lenard moved back to Chicago, Illinois where he accepted a Fellowship award to teach and perform through the Jazz Institute of Chicago. Lenard remains active as a performer and educator in the jazz community.
Watch Lenard improvise
The Thomas J. Laskin Memorial
Jazz Master Class Series
The Thomas A. Laskin Memorial Master Class Series provides insights on this uniquely American form with some of the best musicians in the country. Past guests include Grammy-winners Eddie Gomez and Brian Lynch, plus dozens of industry pros.