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John Simmons


I was born July 28, 1967 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Just days after my birth my family (Dad, Mom and sister Beckye) moved to League City, Texas, then a small town between Houston and Galveston, close to the Johnson Space Center. I've had the best of both worlds-a small town that's really a suburb. And in Texas, no less!
Childhood was pretty uneventful. I began playing drums in sixth grade, and was fortunate to have an excellent teacher by the name of Mike (Cheezy Rider) Davis. Throughout middle school Mr. Davis had his motley crew of drummers playing all sorts of wild percussion pieces. I owe him a lot, and blame him for everything.
At the beginning of high school, my parents divorced and my life changed a lot. I didn't really do a whole lot of studying the drums, but marching band did help me to grow immensely as a drummer. It wasn't until college that I took up lessons again. Mostly all I did in high school was play to records, work, and do things a young man shouldn't do.
The extent of my formal education is only Community College, but I was truly blessed to meet three men who would literally change my life. The first was Jerry Perkins, band director, who introduced me to jazz. In trying to teach me to play jazz authentically, he arranged for me to take lessons from Mr. Joel Fulgham, one of Houston's most accomplished jazz drummers. Mr. Perkins believed in me enough to pay for my first lessons with Joel out of his own pocket. Joel taught me things about drumming that I never knew existed.
After he left my school, he was replaced by the man I consider my drumming "father", Mr. Mike Lefebvre. Mike taught me so much during my time with him. I learned not only how to play, but how to show others how to do it, too. I can still remember the day Mike told me that he had shown me all he could, and then offered me a job teaching with him. Whatever meager accomplishments I've achieved in this business I lay squarely at his feet.
I left college to pursue my career (blame that on Mike!). I've played in many bands, and have found my creative "home" in Atomic Opera. I also freelance around town, and my gigging and recording career has taken on a new twist as I am hired for more and more Church gigs. Besides working "for hire" in various Churches I am a member of the Smith Band, and with them play at the biggest Bible studies and conferences in the region, including Breakaway at Texas A&M .
I have been a drum teacher for fifteen years now. I truly love it, and hope to teach for the rest of my life.

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