Saxophonist, clarinetist, composer, and educator Ian Sims performs extensively throughout the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., 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 has been a featured artist on Maryland Public Television, received a 2015 Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award, was 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. Sims self-produced and released his debut album as a leader, Conundrum, in 2015. Additionally, he served as assistant producer for the 2017 release of Gary Thomas’ Pariah’s Pariahs At Risk.
A native of Stephens City, Virginia, Sims completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at the Johns Hopkins University and its Peabody Conservatory. 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, Sims serves as co-director of the Peabody Preparatory’s Jazz Performance Academy and jazz faculty in the Peabody at Homewood program. He was formerly the Academic Coordinator of Jazz Studies in the Peabody Conservatory and Chief Administrative Officer for the Jazz at the Johns Hopkins Club concert series.
The Jazz Performance Academy brings together highly motivated students in a collaborative and challenging environment to expand their repertoire and nurture the skills of improvisation.