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Kyle Simpson

Assistant Professor

Kyle Simpson, multimedia composer, jazz arranger, and trumpet player, is a graduate from Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, The University of Montana, and received his D.M.A from West Virginia University. He has studied composition with Fred Sturm, Maria Schneider, Vince Mendoza, Charles Nichols, John Beall, Sarana Chou, and Joseph Dangerfield. Simpson’s music seeks to explore the playful juxtaposition of  jazz language and harmonies with that of driving and propulsive rhythms. Simpson’s compositions have been featured at the Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival in Missoula, where he also performed with Lew Soloff and Paquito D'Rivera. Simpson's music has also been featured in music festivals around the world including: Canada (Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music 2005), Croatia (Uzmah/Upbeat Festival 2014), Czech Republic (Ostrava Days 2011), France (Chamber Music Festival L'ile D'Yeu 2011, European American Musical Alliance-EAMA, Paris France 2008, 2010), Greece (Fusion Film Scoring), and Italy (Alba Music Festival 2016).


In 2007 Simpson went on tour with the World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra as a member of the trumpet section, under the direction of Larry O’Brien. After working with the famous jazz band he switched focus toward contemporary composition and film music. In 2011, Simpson was awarded a scholarship to attend the NYU/ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop where he worked closely with composers Mark Snow (X-Files) and Ira Newborn (Naked Gun). Then later that year, Simpson conducted his own orchestral composition Journey Into Wissameking with the Janaček Philharmonic, in Ostrava, CZ as a part of the festival “Ostrava Days”.  In 2016 he released his first commercial album called Something In Between: The Kyle Simpson Jazz Collective. Pittsburgh City Pages reviewed the album saying that the musical settings "reveal a rich harmonic sense that recalls Gil Evans’ adventurous work."


Some of Simpson’s accolades include “Honorable Mention” for the 2017 American Prize in Orchestral Composition for his piece On the Road Suite. Recent film scoring projects include a feature-length documentary entitled City of Steel (Bruce Spiegel dir.), which focuses on the Steel Industry in Pittsburgh. Additionally, Simpson scored a feature-film with Black Deer Pictures entitled Every Night and Every Day (Thomas Zoeschg, dir.). Before coming to WVU, Simpson was an Associate Professor of Instrumental Music at Washington & Jefferson College, in Washington, PA. Simpson resides near Pittsburgh, PA where he performs with The Jazz Conspiracy Big Band and his own group: The Kyle Simpson Jazz Collective.