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Jeffery Smith

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Primary Instrument: Vocalist

Born: September 14, 1955    

Born and raised in Queens, New York, Jeffery Smith began honing his voice at a very early age, under the influence of his mother, Ramona (a classical singer herself) to whom he dedicated his 1995 debut album (aptly titled) “Ramona”, which was produced, and accompanied by the legendary, Shirley Horn, on the Gitane/Verve label.

At the age of 18, Jeffery moved to Los Angeles, where he lived, and worked as a singer/actor/artist (for more than a decade, and a half). He landed several bit parts in television, and film, while performing in the local clubs. In 1980- 81 he starred in the (bi-coastal) production of “Hollywood & Highland”(It was produced on the east coast by the legendary - acting guru - Lee Strasberg, and on the west coast by - mega film producer - Robert Greenhut) for which Jeffery was awarded the coveted 1981 Drama Critic’s Award, from Drama Logue Magazine....
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“As a baritone, Smith has drawn obvious comparisons to Billy Eckstine and Johnny Hartman. But whereas those singers can sometimes sound mesmerized by the sheer resonance of their own vocal cords, Smith has a more nimble sense of phrasing--he’s rich yet light, the flourless chocolate cake of a weight watchers dream!” “This may be the most vital album you’ll hear this year…!” (For “A Little Sweeter”, April 20, 1998 • Bruce Handy) TIME Magazine)

“Jeffery Smith has continually reaffirmed a talent and a personality that are exceptional!” (Universal Jazz Magazine 1999)

“There’s a buzz about vocalist Smith. His critically acclaimed 1998 debut A Little Sweeter caused some heads to turn, and Down Here below, his latest recording, shouldn’t be any different. Smith has quickly become proficient at crafting wonderfully textured pop songs. They stick to you - whether you want them to or not! (Oct. 1999 - Nate Guidry, JAZZTIMES)

“Jeffery Smith stands as a snappy comeback to those who ask if there are any vocalists left who could sing with the same warm, deep-rooted intonation of Johnny Hartman or Joe Williams. And as frontman for Claude Bolling’s big band, Smith acquired his vocal chops honestly”! (November 15th, 1999 - Drew Wheeler, Amazon.com CD Now)

“Down Here Below” is a diverse and solid set of songs and performances, a vibrant arrangement of “Afro Blue”, an exquisite duet with Dianne Reeves, plus stunning versions of two signature tunes written by the great Abbey Lincoln, that establish Jeffery Smith as “the male vocalist to watch!” (1999 - BORDER Books Review)

“Dear Jeffery I was impressed with your concert. I loved your repertoire and the passion you put in your singing. I felt that your version of “Detour Ahead” was tremendous, one of the best versions of this classic I’ve ever heard!”(August 14th, 2000 - Jacques Emonds, Programme Director, of the Ottawa International Jazz Festival)

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Rank: 775 Views: 12,736 Fans: 2
Featured recording “Down Here Below”

Down Here Below
Verve Music Group (1999)

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