Collingswood Neighborhood Concerts presents drummer Marlon Simon and his band with special guest bassist Mike Boone
February 1, 2024 @ 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM$15
Pianist Suzzette Ortiz proudly hosts “Jazz in the Wood,” First Thursdays Neighborhood Concerts at the Collingswood Community Center, 30 Collings Ave, Collingswood, NJ 08108. Showtime is 7:30-9:00 pm. Tickets: $15 in advance ($20 at the door). Students $5 and children under 12 FREE!
Educator, Percussionist, Composer Marlon Simon was born in the small town of Cardón Venezuela. His first contact with music, at the age of 10, came from his father, Hadsy Simon, a philosopher with deep insights into spiritualism and metaphysics, and guitarist and vocalist. “Whenever we had a visitor my father used to take his guitar out and invite me to join him, playing on a little bongo. Later on, I drove him nuts. When I reached the age of 15, he bought me a set of timbales. I learned most of the Latin rudiments on my own. Listening mostly to dance bands, salsa, merengue and other South American dance music styles helped me begin playing with top local bands in the area, Marlon says. By the time he was 18, Marlon had organized his own band and had begun performing locally at concerts and clubs, sometimes opening for major national acts. His interest in jazz was sparked when he was 19 and a friend brought him a video he had recorded of Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea and Miroslav Vitous, and others. Marlon also quickly became hooked, and with an abiding interest in jazz and African-originated music he came to the United States in 1987 and began formal studies on drums at The University of The Arts in Philadelphia. In 1988, he received a grant from the Philadelphia Music Foundation. He moved to New York in 1989, and later obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Jazz and Contemporary Music from the New School for Social Research. During his studies, Marlon worked locally in the city, developing his unique style and gaining the respect of noted jazz and Latin musicians.
Bassist Mike Boone began with piano lessons at the age of eight, later attended the prestigious Eastman School of Music to study bass. After touring with Ben Vereen and Buddy Rich, he moved to Philly in 1983. “What I learned from hanging out in Philadelphia and meeting all sorts of people is that jazz was an African American art form and has spiritual qualities because it does come from the blues, which come from the church. There is definitely this connection, and I made those connections in a way that I probably wouldn’t have made had I stayed in New York. In fact, I probably wouldn’t be playing jazz, so it was a blessing to come to Philly.” After embracing the upright bass, he found himself in the company of legendary local musicians, including John Swana, Sid Simmons, Byron Landham, Shirley Scott, and many more. Mike especially recalls his tutelage from Trudy Pitts—and Bill “Mr. C” Carney’s insistence that he convert from electric to acoustic bass. As a leader, Mike has produced a few albums of his own and is currently an adjunct professor of jazz at Temple University. Nowadays, he is often accompanied on stage by his teenage son, musical prodigy Mekhi Boone, who plays drums. The bassist also has a vibrant social media life on Facebook where his provocative posts garner buzz-worthy responses. Ultimately, for the elder Boone, it is all about the power of music.