“Poetry and Jazz have been influencing each other for a long time. Lisa Marie Simmons, a poet, singer and composer, draws on that rich history for NoteSpeak 12... As with her previous efforts with the NoteSpeak ensemble, Simmons flows freely between singing and speaking/reciting, blurring the lines between poetry and music." 5 Stars J. Poet Downbeat Magazine April 2023
"Lisa Marie Simmons - Notespeak 12 A storyteller, an essayist and an impressive singer/songwriter, equipped with an expressive speaking and singing voice. The conclusion and the highlight of this Soul Voices!" 5 Stars Olaf Maikopf JAZZTHETIK Magazin, Münster DE
"NoteSpeak 12 finds Lisa Marie Simmons settling into a very relaxed groove with her partner, Marco Cremaschini. The interplay of the two, between poetry and music, feels like a dance with no need for choreography. Rather than poetry set to music or music that follows poetry, this is a conversation - about life, about love, about EVERYTHING - between the artists and the band. The words and the individual instruments all blur into a landscape of human experience, like sauntering through a cafe as conversations come and go." Louis Marks CEO Ropeadope, Director at The Ropeadope Cultural Center
“Notespeak 12 is a lyrical album and an ensemble of centuries of the sonic lifeworlds of Black people. I walked away, hearing new articulations of jazz that sounded like Zora Neal Hurston's words on the page. It's an ode to the sounds we make in community and punctuated by theatrical curiosity and professional knowledge expressed through well-attended craft. It travels to many places and takes the listeners with it. Notespeak 12 is a well-choreographed journey." DJ Lynnée Denise Artist, Scholar, Writer
“Notespeak 12 is top-end poetry and top-end jazz, so poet Lisa Marie Simmons and composer Marco Cremaschini set themselves a high bar. But they have succeeded, just like they did on the earlier album Notespeak: Amori e Tragedie In Musica (Ropeadope), a succès d'estime and something of a cult hit following its release in 2020.” 4 Stars Chris May- All About Jazz
"Lisa Marie Simmons uses arresting lyrics and warm vocals to co-create the NoteSpeak 12 album with inventive artists and music director Marco Cremaschini. The music of this Italian-based band, billed as “global jazz hybrid,” defies category. Each eclectic song is its own galaxy within the Cremaschini-Simmons universe." Regina Harris Baiocchi - Composer, Author, Poet
A short essay I wrote for Jenee Osterheld's column in The Boston Globe
Our Short Documentary Lisa & Isell
It’s here, it’s here, it’s finally here! We’ve done it! The visionary producer Angela Tucker and two-time Emmy award-winning director Bryan Tucker have (beautifully) wrapped and we are eager to share this gift with you.
I’m elated to be introducing you all to Isell. There is much to love about him.
The Tamron Hall Show: Answers to your questions
When I wrote the HuffPost essay that prompted my invitation to the show, I was, as I often am, trying to connect to the reader using my own personal experiences to speak to larger issues.
NoteSpeak (Amori e Tragedie in Musica) On Downbeat Magazine's list 2020: The Year’s Top-Rated Albums
"Beautiful and Powerful" - Giuseppe Saulo Rai Radio 3 "Battiti"
"Across NoteSpeak, the band’s playing remains understated, granting Simmons’ poetry the spotlight. Her words are full of internal rhymes, verbal inflections that move the rhythm in unexpected directions and juxtapositions of imagery that veer from predictable to wildly creative." Four Stars j.Poet Downbeat Magazine
"Musically and vocally, NoteSpeak consistently changes, shifting from style to style – acoustic jazz solos into hip-hop beats into harmonized gospel vocals into electronic jazz and fusion into free verse rhyming – and yet seems to constantly groove. Simmons' delivery swims in the deep waters connecting Nina Simone to Jill Scott, completely obliterating the line between vocalist and poetess: Warning like a mother lioness, whippersnapping through urban haunts, and curiously wondering about it all." - Chris M. Slawecki “All About Jazz”
“Lisa Marie Simmons has a powerful magnetizing voice for our time- for all time. Authentic and deeply committed.”- Anne Waldman, author of Trickster Feminism (Penguin Poets).
"Lisa Marie Simmons is forging her rightful place in the annals of music history. Her cd, Note Speak: Amori E Tragedie In Musica is poetic mastery of sound and silence." - Regina Harris Baiocchi- composer, author, and poet
"Note Speak stretches all boundaries with intriguing spoken word backed by an ambitious jazz ensemble, all with original compositions of poetry, prose and musical wonder. Note Speak literally had the sold-out audience leaning into every word and every note during the entire show. The audience was wild for both the concept and the execution, craving more that is sure to come from this creative act." - Denis Budankov Artistic Director International Jazz Festival hosted at Reduta Jazz Club Prague
"NoteSpeak performed at the closing of the literary festival JLF@Boulder and blew the lid off the house. They had the audience on their feet throughout the incredible 90-minute set! A pure treat!" - Sanjoy K. Roy Managing Director of Teamwork Arts. Co-founder, producer of the Jaipur Literature Festival
Lisa Meets Gianni - Jazz Standards - Released 2022 on Ropeadope
“Mr. Cazzola is more than a musician: he is a piece of jazz history. His drums have supported, played and collaborated with the greatest jazz players that the globe has hosted…” – (Jazzitalia.net)