Simone Waddell was the first Australian to win a scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. After completing her music degree, Simone continued her career internationally into Asia, Europe, the U.S.A and Australia, performing in countless top venues both solo and with world class musicians.
Simone is one of Australia’s Top Contemporary Jazz Artists performing jazz, soul, and funk infused with groove. Genres also include pop, R&B, zouk, gospel, and even some classical. Simone won the Nescafe Big Break and was awarded $20,000 for her musical achievements and was the first jazz vocalist in Australian history to achieve a Masters Degree in Performance at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She was mentored by the late Australian iconic singer Kerrie Biddell, who was the focus of Simone’s research.
Simone, a prolific songwriter, has recorded four albums, “Take My Love,” “Make It Happen,” “My Romance,” (jazz album) and “Surrender,” plus two EPS, “New Day” and “Keeping My Peace On,” as well as multiple singles.
“My Romance” and “Surrender,” produced by Australian legend Jim Kelly, were launched as live events in Sydney to sold out venues. Her music videos have 500,000+ views worldwide.
Simone is an ambassador for Messenger Rescue to raise awareness and resources to bring freedom to those trapped in sex trafficking. Her EP, “New Day” was created for this purpose with Signature Music Design in the US, and was released in December 2017.
Highlights include playing keyboard and singing backing vocals on the Australian tour for Grammy nominated hit artist, Taylor Dayne, performing numerous times at Parliament House for State and National Government Leaders, and being the Opening Act for Australia’s well known jazz singer, Vince Jones for Australian Music Week.
Simone’s inspirational song “Born to Win” had high rotation on Sydney radio and was selected as the headlining song at the crowning of Miss World Australia and as the theme song at Heal For Life, a healing program for adults and teens recovering from abuse.
As one of the leading voice coaches in Australia, Simone has run many of her uniquely designed, “YOU HAVE A VOICE!” live vocal workshops and taught thousands of voice lessons for over twenty five years, including her recent work in Uganda with the globally recognised Watoto Children’s Choir.
Simone also facilitates stunning four and five day retreats in natural settings which are transformational and life changing for all who attend. “Song of Your Life Retreat” and “You Have A Voice Summit” are world class programs.
As a live artist, a show including exceptional musicality, heartfelt original songs, and incredible vocals, is what you can expect when Simone Waddell hits the stage. She is known for her stunning mix of contemporary jazz, and soulful melodies with groove. Her recent original music has already been hailed as, “the best music coming out of Australia right now.”
Simone’s voice and music have been described as “world class”, “drenched with soul and feeling” and “utterly amazing.”
Simone has performed at various events and venues such as Manly Jazz Festival, the Devonport Jazz Festival Concert Series, (Tas) the 5th and 6th annual Bastille Festival, The Basement (Sydney) Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, (Melb) Paris Cat Jazz Club, (Melb) Doo Bop Jazz Club (Bris) as well as the state of the art venues Polytheatre, Haiya Theatre and Xinghai Concert Hall in China. Simone has also performed at a number of well known Japanese jazz clubs on her recent and past tours in Japan.
Her collaboration “Breathe” a duet with Cornell Thigpen (Mary J.Blige, Steve Nicks, Babyface, Isley Brothers) was released October 2017.
Simone is known to perform with the absolute best musicians, who are a perfect match for this Australian songstress.
Simone was one of twelve international authors who contributed to the book, The Attitude of Gratitude, which is an incredible collection of inspirational stories expressing how the power of gratitude can help anyone overcome the hardest challenges. The book was released in November 2020, and became a bestseller that same month.
“I have had the privilege of working with many awe inspiring vocalists throughout my career and can openly say from my heart that Simone Waddell is amongst the very best of them. Her voice is stunning, as is her personality, that shines through every time she sings. Simone is a gift to the world of music.” – Martha Baartz, Australian saxophonist
“Simone is a beautiful whirling dervish of energetic creative talent. She has come back into my life to record an album at my Tone Ranger Studio after many years in the gig world since her studies. The studio environment bares the souls of all participants and Simone would stand as one of the easiest and most focused artists that I’ve worked with. She possesses an open creative spirit and the musicianship and vocal technique allowing it all to come together. I’m looking forward to a long musical relationship with Simone over the ensuing years.” – Jim Kelly, Guitarist/Producer, Tone Ranger Studios
“Simone has such a beautiful instrument! Her commitment is one of her best assets. You can be an extremely talented musician and still not make it into Berklee but Simone has a combination of musical ability, and commitment. I was so impressed upon hearing her sing, I offered her the chance of a musical lifetime to complete her degree at Berklee on a scholarship.” – Dr. Warwick Carter, former Dean of Berklee College of Music