Lisa Marie Simmons

Album: NoteSpeak 12  FYC: Best Spoken Word Poetry Album

+ In the craft category Arrangements, Instruments, and Vocals our song "Another String Pulled from the Theory" for Arrangements, Instruments, and Vocals.

Hello and welcome, fellow Voting Members of The Recording Academy. Thank you for taking the time to visit our FYC page. We know many great projects are out there this year, so we are grateful for your consideration. Marco and I are currently heavy into listening mode, and we'd be grateful if you could share your FYC pages with us. Feel free to DM your links on Instagram, Twitter (I just cannot say X; not there yet), or Facebook. If you're like Marco and avoid social media at all costs, sign up for our newsletter, and I'll get back to you. Marco and I are rooting for everyone who has submitted this year. We are also buoyed by the knowledge that there is a lot of innovative, wonderfully crafted work out there lifting the world in this fraught time, and look forward to hearing it! Lisa

Lisa's short biography

Lisa is a multi-disciplinary storyteller: She is a singer/songwriter (Ropeadope), essayist (Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, Kweli Journal, Family Stories Project, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Jazzfuel), and published poet currently based in Italy. She fronts the poetic/musical ensemble NoteSpeak, which debuted in America at the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival in Boulder (CO) in September 2017. She was a speaker and performer at the 70th Conference on World Affairs at the University of Colorado in April 2018. In November 2019, she presented NoteSpeak (Amore e Tragedie in Musica) in Italy, Austria and Prague. In January 2020, Lisa presented NoteSpeak in India on the Jaipur Music Stage. Ropeadope released her poetic/musical album NoteSpeak (Amori e Tragedie in Musica) in March 2020, which received a four-star review from Downbeat magazine. In October 2021, she flew to Florida to search for her birth father; Angela Tucker and her Emmy Award-winning husband Bryan Tucker filmed a documentary about the search: Lisa & Isell: A story about adoption and the Ghost Kingdom, which premiered in June 2022. Angela and Lisa co-wrote an essay advocating for the rights of Black fathers for the Harvard Law Bill of Health digital symposium in May 2022. Her jazz standards album Lisa Meets Gianni featuring legendary Italian drummer Gianni Cazzola, was released in June 2022 on Ropeadope. Lisa was invited to perform at the Biennale in Venice in October 2022 for artist Simone Leigh's Loophole of Retreat. Her poem “Last Supper” was shortlisted for a Creators of Justice Literary Award in November 2022. Her new album NoteSpeak 12, was released in February 2023 by Ropeadope, garnering a 5-star review from Downbeat magazine.

A little bit about Marco from Marco

ITALIAN PIANIST AND COMPOSER I touched a piano for the first time when I was five. You could say it was love at first sight, and I took advantage of every occasion to make hideous sounds on two tiny little keys. I wasn’t very good until I became decent; my zeal has lasted for years. The people who showed me the piano doomed me to a lifetime of passion and zero interest in anything but music. Over the years, I’ve been a self-taught artist who preferred to “steal” techniques and inspiration from those who were better than me, hoping that the student would become the teacher one day. When I’m not performing, composing, recording music in my studio, or using the piano as brain food, you may find me cooking actual food and cycling around the country to work it off. Recent discography: “Hippie Tendencies” - Hippie Tendencies “Identity” - Hippie Tendencies “Se io ho perso…chi ha vinto?” Anna Maria Castelli “The Italian Project” - Lisa Bell “Furaha” - RVG Trio “Dream Settings” - M. Cremaschini “The Dark Seas of The Moon” - M. Cremaschini “NoteSpeak” - Lisa Marie Simmons “Thorns and Roses” YaMatto "We’re Gonna Change It" - L. M. Simmons “Even In My Soul” - Marco Cocconi quartet "Lisa meets Gianni" L. M. Simmons.

Marco and I talk about the making of NoteSpeak 12 for Gail Boyd's Alternative Venues for Jazz series.

Live in Jaipur, India, for Teamwork Arts Jaipur Literature Festival     Teatro del Sale Firenze Photo courtesy of Saviolam

Liner Notes:

Poetry gives us the ability to see what can not be seen, to describe what cannot be observed, and to infuse feeling into language. Poetry begins with the blank page - 'the only one listening to the soul's suffering....the only one receiving all softly and without condemnation.' Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Music is a common language, like a river that flows through distant lands without losing its form. No matter the style, we all recognize that form. The beat, the flow, the breath and touch of the instrumentalist: music reaches the core of our being. 

 Every poem has a rhythm, and every song has a message.

 Lisa Marie Simmons is a dynamic and passionate being; her persistent desire to discover (and hold) joy in the face of suffering is a bright light in an often dark world. Her 2020 debut, NoteSpeak (Amori e Tragedie In Musica), introduced us to her unique style. Accomplished in writing circles, Simmons brings her verse to life through music and careful articulation of her story. The topics are personal and the style casual, but do not mistake this for ordinary; each verse is a carefully narrated story that holds attention and feels very familiar.

 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.

 'Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.' (Carl Sandburg)

 Louis H Marks CEO Ropeadope Autumn 2022