Jade Simmons

Houston, Texas

Jade Simmons is a world-class concert pianist recognized for her performance ability and genre-mixing arrangements incorporating classical music and contemporary hip hop, among other genres. She is an acclaimed and highly sought-after public speaker, as well as the author of two books, 2015’s Audacious Prayers for World Changers: Live and Pray Out Loud and 2023’s Purpose The Remix: A Mind-Blowing Re-Understanding of Purpose and How It Works. She is also an entrepreneur, having founded Jade Media Global, a live experience and content distribution company, in 2004.

Early life

Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Jade Simmons was raised by her mother, Loretta Smalls, an administrative assistant at Citadel Military College, and her father, Jerome Smalls, a civil rights activist. She attended St. Andrew’s High School. After graduating, Simmons enrolled in Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in piano performance. She would complete her formal musical training by earning a master’s degree, also in piano performance, from Rice University in Houston, Texas.

In 1999, Jade Simmons won the title of ‘Miss Chicago’ while competing under her maiden name of Jade Smalls. She would go on to be crowned ‘Miss Illinois’, and in the Miss America Pageant, she won First Runner-Up.


Jade Simmons began her career as a classical pianist, quickly garnering a reputation for her technical ability and her expressive playing style. As she progressed, she began to blend in a variety of other musical influences, such as rhythm and blues and hip-hop, to create a style uniquely her own. Simmons has toured the United States extensively, selling out such prestigious venues as Chicago’s Symphony Center, New York’s Town Hall, and Detroit’s Institute of Art. She has performed at the White House as well as at the Supreme Court, where she was awarded the ‘Medal of Excellence’ by the Sphinx Organization.

While already well-established in her career, Simmons began integrating elements of inspirational public speaking into her concerts, gradually shifting the balance from playing the piano to giving transformational and uplifting presentations. Since making this pivot, she has been commissioned for speaking engagements by organizations such as Pfizer, Dell, Mass Mutual, Royal Bank of Canada, NBC Universal, and the University of Michigan, among many others. In 2004, Jade Simmons launched her own company, Jade Media Global, as a platform from which to oversee her burgeoning public speaking career.

In an unexpected turn of events, Simmons made her feature film debut playing piano selections from Chopin, Debussy, and Bach on the audio track of an Oscar-nominated documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? The movie, which chronicles the life of musical icon and civil rights pioneer Nina Simone, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2015. Jade Simmons was also cast as the legendary concert jazz pianist Lillette Harris in a Broadway-style musical called Lillette’s Rhythm Club, which was staged in Florida beginning in 2017.

Additionally, she is the author of two self-help books. Her first effort, 2015’s Audacious Prayers for World Changers: Live and Pray Out Loud, deals with how the power of prayer can alter the human mindset for the better. Her second effort, 2023’s Purpose The Remix: A Mind-Blowing Re-Understanding of Purpose and How It Works, examines the nebulous concept of purpose as it relates to the complexities of life in the 21st century.

Jade Simmons made headlines when she announced a bid for the office of President of the United States in 2020, running as an unaffiliated independent. She espoused a centrist platform, attempting to appeal to voters occupying what she called the “muted middle”. She titled her campaign ‘Operation Restoration’, and chose Claudeliah J. Roze as her running mate.

Net Worth



Winning the titles of ‘Miss Chicago’ and ‘Miss Illinois’ in 1999, as well as competing at the Miss America pageant that same year, where she was named ‘First Runner Up’.
Being awarded the ‘Medal of Excellence’ by the Sphinx Organization during a concert held at the United States Supreme Court.
Launching Jade Media Global in 2004.
Being listed as one of the ‘Top 30 Leaders Under 30’ by Ebony in 2008.
Writing and publishing Audacious Prayers for World Changers: Live and Pray Out Loud in 2015.
Playing accompanying piano in the Academy Award-nominated film What Happened, Miss Simone? in 2015.
Portraying iconic jazz pianist Lillette Harris in the musical Lillette’s Rhythm Club in 2017.
Writing and publishing Purpose The Remix: A Mind-Blowing Re-Understanding of Purpose and How It Works in 2023.
Launching ‘Operation Restoration’, a campaign to run for President of the United States in 2020.