Jamie K. Sims - Composer, Songwriter, Musician, Vocalist


Jamie K. Sims grew up in Alabama and North Carolina as a dancer in a musical family. After an injury thwarted her dance career, her focus turned to music. She lived in New York, NY, for several years - writing, performing, and teaching - before moving to Virginia.

     Sims has written works for chamber orchestra, piano solo, voice and piano, and various ensembles, with the support of the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her compositions also encompass music for documentaries, including her 2012 CD Gentle Woman of a Dangerous Kind: Documentary Film Score, for the film on peace and human rights activist Marii Hasegawa: Gentle Woman of a Dangerous Kind; dance (composer/choregrapher for the Cosmopolitan Dance Troop, NYC, 1977-80); Off-Broadway theater, including magician Michael Makman's Professor Putter at the Samuel Beckett Theatre, NYC), foreign commercials, and sacred settings. 

     In 2001 she founded the Blue Ridge Chamber Orchestra, and in 2002 Sims published the article “Music and Animals” in the March 2002 edition of the VALVT (Virginia Association of Licensed Veterinary Technicians) Quarterly, during her VCA residency in the Shenandoah Valley.

     Taking a break from concert music in the early 80s, Jamie K. Sims transformed her Cosmopolitan Dance Troop into New Wave party band, The Cosmopolitans. Among songs that received international acclaim and airplay was her tongue-in-cheek hit recording, "(How to Keep Your) Husband Happy" (Shake Records, NYC, Albion Records, UK, Dionysus/Bacchus Archives, LA). The song reached #1 in 1980 for several weeks on the Wave Breaker national alternative radio chart. The flip side, “Wild Moose Party,” also recieved heavy rotation on New Yorks WNEW-FM and other stations throughout the U.S. and abroad.

     In 2006 Bacchus Archives (Dionysus Records) released a Cosmopolitans retrospective CD, containing several previously unreleased recordings from 1981. The group reconnected and played a reunion concert in 2009 at Cats Cradle in Chapel Hill, NC. that included music friends and rock luminaries Don Dixon and Mitch Easter.

     Halloween solo instrumental "Terror-Bite Tango" was released in October 2019, on Mooscular Phonic Tunes.

     Sims has served as artist-in-residence, funded by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, for several educational institutions in Virginia: Blue Ridge Community College, Weyers Cave, VA (three semesters: spring 2001, fall 2001, spring 2002), William Fox Model Elementary School, Richmond, VA (1999 and 1998), and Green Valley Elementary School, Roanoke, VA (1998). 

      In 2004 her sacred choral work, God's Love Unbroken (written to encourage full inclusion in the religious communities, and performed in the Episcopal Church), earned a CAP grant from the American Music Center in New York. 

     Also a grant recipient of the Virginia Commission for the Arts, she has been awarded four Artist Study Grants, Arts Education Technical Assistance Grants, and a Special Arts-In-Education Technical Assistance Grant to attend Kennedy Center conference, Artists As Educators

     Because of her depth and breadth of experience in the arts, and her strength as an arts advocate, Sims as been recruited for several advisory panels of the Virginia Commission for the Arts. From 1988 to 1990 she was Director of Workshops for Women In Music, Inc., New York Chapter. 

     Sims received a Bachelor of Music with Honors in composition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, studying under the late Roger Hannay. Sims lived and worked in New York, N.Y. for seventeen years before relocating back to the South, in 1993, to Richmond, Virginia, where she currently writes and maintains her private composition and piano studio. 

     Sims is a member of B.M.I., the (former) American Music Center, the International Alliance for Women in Music, and former member of Women In Music, NYC. She has recorded for Shake Records, Albion Records, Dionysus Records, Mooscular Phonic Tunes Records, and has published with Mooscular Phonic Tunes.

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Airplay for GWDK Theme

Women of Subtance Podcast #1296

The theme I wrote, "Gentle Woman of a Dangerous Kind," for the 2012 documentary "Marii Hasegawa: Gentle Woman of a Dangerous Kind" (seen on PBS and other venues) airs on WOSRadio podcast as part of their War and the Pursuit of Peace program. Marii Hasegawa was a remarkable Japanese-American peace activist who was held in a Japanese Internment Camp during WWII.