Elec Simon has been influencing both aspiring and established musicians of every age for most of his life. From early childhood on, this self-taught musician and tap dancer has viewed everything around him as an instrument for sharing his passion for music and percussion. In 2005 Elec first joined the professional realm as a cast member of the critically acclaimed Broadway production of STOMP where he still performs occasionally on tour. In 2005 Elec also performed in Tap Extravaganza in NYC, along with Savion Glover, whose performance in Bring in Da Noise Bring in Da Funk inspired Elec to embark on a life of dance and percussion.
As a percussionist, Elec has been invited to sit in at several legendary Harlem jazz clubs, including St. Nick’s Pub, Minton’s Playhouse and Lennox Lounge, where he has jammed alongside jazz artists Patience Higgins, Andy McLeod, and Dave Gibson. Elec has also accompanied funk master Justin Miles and hip hop artist Ace Boogie as the percussionist on recent recordings.
Elec’s vision for utilizing percussion and music as tools of healing and empowerment has led him to many profoundly rewarding venues over the past several years. In 2004 he co-founded Heartbeat Afrika with Olu Manns . Hearbeat Afrika is an arts education company, fusing traditional African music with American swing. He also regularly hosts drum circles at many Ohio State Prisons where inmates connect in positive ways through music, at times including rival gang members in the same circle. Elec also shares his message twice a month at Indian River Juvenile Facility, hoping to inspire the youth there toward choices for a more positive future. As a teaching artist with ArtsinStark’s SmArts program, Elec brings his talents to many Stark County schools, teaching percussion as well as hosting anti-bullying assemblies. Stark County residents will also recognize Elec from many First Friday drum circles, as well as his annual gig hosting the O’Jays Family Reunion the past four years.
“When you meet Elec Simon, you are enveloped by his warm and inviting energy. Positive vibrations exude through every aspect of his personality – especially his warm and contagious smile. You just can’t stop yourself from looking around for a ladder, a bucket, a pair of sticks- anything to join in and become part of the jam! ”