MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)2015
There are some artists, like Ian Sims, that follow their inner drive without compromise. A native of Stephens City, VA and currently residing in Baltimore, MD, Ian began playing clarinet at age 11, picking up saxophone a year later. While music was clearly his passion, he could not deny his equal love for science. It was no great surprise when Ian decided to pursue studies in both music and engineering. While the two fields were not always perfect complements to each other, it did enhance his ability to produce captivating music through unique opportunities.
Saxophonist, clarinetist, composer, and educator Ian Sims performs extensively throughout the Baltimore-Washington metro area and along the East Coast, playing in a diverse range of styles. Performance credits include work with the Temptations, Four Tops, Cleftones, Gene Chandler, Jimmy Clanton, Percy Sledge, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Soulful Symphony, Gary Thomas, Alex Norris, Alan Ferber, Rufus Reid, Sam Rivers, Dontae Winslow, Warren Wolf, Paul Bollenback, Ed Howard, and EJ Strickland, among others. As a composer, he was a 2015 Maryland State Art Council's Individual Artist Award recipient, awarded a commission by the Baltimore Jazz Alliance in 2013 and has had works performed by the Peabody Improvisation and Multimedia Ensemble and by Gary Thomas in Moscow, Russia. Ian completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at the Johns Hopkins University and its Peabody Institute. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (2008), Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies (2008), Master of Arts in Audio Sciences (2010), and Graduate Performance Diploma in Jazz Studies (2010). His primary instrumental studies have been under the guidance of world renowned saxophonist Gary Thomas, with minor clarinet studies under Steven Barta. When not performing, Ian serves as co-director of the Peabody Preparatory's Jazz Performance Academy, Academic Coordinator of Jazz Studies in the Peabody Conservatory, Chief Administrative Officer for the Jazz at the Johns Hopkins Club concert series, and jazz faculty in the Peabody at Homewood program.