Merit School of Music

Fred Simon

Faculty: Jazz Theory and Improvisation, Piano


Bachelor of Music Composition, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, minor concentration in piano and jazz studies
Studies with: Salvatore Martirano, Morgan Powell, John Garvey, Ben Johnston, Ron Elliston, Jim McNeely
Member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society


Fred Simon has been making music for over forty-five years, performing and composing for recordings, concerts, film, dance, and television, with instrumentation ranging from solo piano to symphonic orchestra.

His compositions appear on ten albums under his own name on Columbia, Windham Hill, Flying Fish, Quaver, and Naim, and on compilations released by various labels. He also recorded an album of songs by Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys Distilled.

Fred has recorded and/or performed with Ralph Towner, Paul McCandless, Larry Coryell, Lyle Mays, Iain Matthews, Jerry Goodman, Kurt Elling, The Stan Kenton Orchestra, and many others.

Favorite Musicians:

I don’t have a favorite song, album, or musician; I have hundreds of them. I’m an ardent musical omnivore, and I love good music made by many musicians of many genres, eras, and cultures, from Bach to The Beatles, including Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis, Ravel, Milton Nascimento, Keith Jarrett, Stevie Wonder, Chopin, and countless others.