The Mae Simpson band is pure energy and soul. The singer-songwriter Mae who hails from South Carolina, has a huge voice and stage presence. She has brought together a collective of seven musicians who each bring a unique flavor to this powerhouse group. Formed in the fall of 2017, Mae Simpson Band have built a broad collection of original music that refuses to fall neatly into a single genre. Blistering funk and dance music mixed with soul, blues, country, calypso, jazz, rock, and even a little hip hop — bringing the crowd to their feet every time. In the spring of 2018 the band won the Battle of the Blues Bands at Famous Dave’s and opened the Lowertown Blues Festival. Since that time Mae has been a Nominee for City Pages “Best New Band and Best Live Concert” . Going on to WIN City Pages Reader's Choice Best New Band. From playing at First Avenue to Dakota Jazz the band can also be seen at a range of music festivals and venues in the region. Playing with acts like Dermot Kennedy, Robert Cray, Pert Near Sandstone, and many more.The band features: Mae Simpson. Drummer- Aaron Silverstein. percussionist- Ricardo J. Romero, Trumpet - Paul Pederson, bass- David Kellermann. guitar- Jorgen Wadkins.
"Mae’s powerful voice has remnants of Janis Joplin and Ella Fitzgerald, tied together with a rasp of Joan Jett. Brought together by an extremely talented and passionate band, Mae Simpson Music is a ticking timebomb for breaking into the national array of local artists to make it “big.” – Richard Dollarhide (Music in Minnesota)
Ricardo J. Romero: Percussion
Ricardo who goes by Romie was born and raised in the island of enchantment, Puerto Rico. His culture and folklore shines through the percussion he plays today. Music has been by on his side since he was a little boy. It has shown him the light at my most darkest of times. As a combat war veteran of the Iraq War, music has and continues to heal him on a daily basis. What started as a djembe in drum circles, has become aux percussion for one of the most amazing acts he's had the pleasure to play with.10 years has gone by, since he started playing and the music keeps getting better. From drum circles, to music festivals, to bookings, and all of the stages in between. Give thanks for music.
Amór y Paz, Romie
Mae Simpson Music
Jorgen Wadkins: Guitarist
After starting his musical journey at the age of 18, Jorgen quickly fell in love with how music can speak to people on so many different levels. He believes music can transcend language, economic, generational, and cultural barriers, and can move people in ways that few art forms can. Starting out with punk rock, Jorgen’s tastes soon lead him to play and appreciate other forms of music including jazz, folk, funk, blues, country, and bluegrass.
Through this musical journey, Jorgen has had the pleasure of teaching guitar at the after-school program for impoverished inner-city minorities called Urban Ventures, as well as volunteering as entertainment for fundraisers for school programs and food shelves. He also worked with high school students with emotional behavior disorders or autism by starting and running an elective music program that allowed students a chance to practice learning a new instrument in a safe and supportive environment. Jorgen feels honored to use music as a catalyst for social change and enjoys bringing people from a variety of backgrounds together through music.
David Kellermann: Bassist
David hails from Lapeer, MI. He played on and off in rock bands since the age of 13. He initially pursued a Bachelor of Music with French Horn from Grand Valley State University. After 3 years, he transferred to McNally Smith College of Music and received degrees in Audio Engineering and Live Sound Engineering. He spent 3 years as a FOH engineer at the classic and missed 400 Bar, and for the last 6 years has been a house engineer at the Dakota Jazz Club. He has toured FOH with over 25 artist including John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band, Jim Witter, Pert Near Sandstone, and The Abrams.
Paul Pederson: Trumpeter
Paul grew up in South Minneapolis and started playing the horn in high school. He has played a wide range of styles from Jazz, to classical and Mariachi. He moved back to Minneapolis after years of living in New York City, DC, and most recently Los Angeles. In addition to playing with Mae Simpson, Paul teaches privately and freelances, and is a solo cornet player with the Twin Cities Brass Band.
Aaron Silverstein: Drums
Hailing from New Jersey, Aaron began playing the drums at the age of 9. After attending college in Boston, Aaron made the move to Minneapolis. There he has been involved with multiple projects as a drummer, bassist, and singer. He has shared stages with such acts as Spoon, Ingrid Michelson, Weezer, Sick Puppies and more while playing stages such as First Ave and the Basilica Block Party.
Brian Snowman Powers: Saxophone
Brian “snowman” Powers is a wild, white haired saxophonist, audio engineer, composer, and producer from New Orleans. Known for his passionate and soulful playing as well as his uplifting and fiery performances, Snowman is exciting to watch and brings a deep respect of his musical traditions. Gigging from the early age of 15, he quickly gained prominence as one one of the best saxophonists in the state of a Louisiana, and then moved to New York City to attend the New School for Social Research/ Mannes College of music jazz conservatory. There he studied with legends such as Lee Konitz, George Garzone, Reggie Workman, Junior Mance and many others.
While touring and performing all over the country, Brian made a move to Minneapolis where he also begin a career in engineering and production. He is know internationally as an established mixing engineer and the Audio Engineering Society awarded him as one of the top Surround Sound Mix engineers in the world. There he would go on to also teach at the top schools in the area such as Minneapolis Media Institute, The Institute for Production and Recording, and McNally Smith College of Music.
Snowman’s unique playing style abs powerful sound are a true mixture of New Orleans soul, New York improvisation, and Minneapolis funk. Some of the people he has played and worked with include Victor Wooten, Juanes, Spin Doctors, The Samples, Olteta Adam’s, Debbie Gibson, Cory Wong, Ricky and Paul Peterson, Darnell Davis, and so many others. After hearing Mae’s music, Brian was so inspired that he had to join her musical journey. This isn’t the next chapter, it’s where he belongs.