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LaDonna Smith

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Primary Instrument: Viola

Born: March 2, 1951    

LaDonna Smith has been on the international new music scene for well over 30 years. An active performer, recently recording and touring with Misha Feigin, Russian guitarist/balalai/poet, recently published an exciting current release, Deviant Shakti, with NY percussionist/drummer Michael Evans. From Birmingham Alabama, she is an active educator & avid presenter of improvised music in her native geographic area. By networking with organizers and musicians from other cities, and through her work with the improvisor journal, she has been responsible for keeping improvised music alive in the South Eastern United States. In 1996 & 2004 she organized the Birmingham International Improvisation Festival, which featured performers from Sweden, Russia, Japan and Ukraine in concert and workshop, as well as a host of regional and national participants in music, theatre, and dance. She plans to host another major regional festival celebrating the 30 year anniversary of “the improvisor” in 2010....
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Awards

As a non self promoter, hailing from the state of Alabama, where arts support is not strong, and the Senators could not give "two hoots", LaDonna takes no awards.
  • Floating Bridges

    Trans Museq
    2007
  • Yokel Yen

    Trans Museq
    2006
  • Transmutating

    Trans Museq
    1993
  • Eye Of The Storm

    Trans Museq
    1992
  • Laboratory Affair

    Trans Museq
    1988
  • Trans Duo Live - New Gases In The Dome

    Trans Museq
    1985
  • Song Of An Aeropteryx

    Trans Museq
    1983
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Primary Instrument:
Viola

Location:
Birmingham, AL

Willing to teach:
Beginners

Credentials/Background:
As a teacher, not only has she given many workshops on free improvisation throughout the U.S. and Canada to schoolchildren and college students, but for 30 years, she has taught violin to hundreds of children in Birmingham, Alabama, and is the Director of the Birmingham Suzuki Violin Association. In 1998, she took 24 students and 14 adults to Japan to participate in the 42nd National Suzuki Concert in Tokyo. The Suzuki Violinists also performed their own concerts in Nagano, and a Sister City International Friendship Concert in Hitachi. In 2000, she went to China to study string pedagogy there with People to People, and gave a workshop to string students at the International School in Souzjou. Since 1995, she has been core violin faculty of the Central Pennsylvania Suzuki Institute, specializing in violin master classes, groups, jazz and free improvisation.

Clinic/Workshop Information:
LaDonna has given Improvisation clinics in connection with her performances on numerous occasions, for example at "Ear it Live", Toronto Canada Festival, The Composers Forum at Michigan State University in 2000, at the American String Teacher's Association (ASTA) national conferences in Reno Nevada,2006 and in St. Louis, 2007, and at the International Society of Improvised Music (ISIM) in 2008 & 2009. It's informal, sitting in a circle is best, giving live aural examples of extended techniques, along with discussions of the building blocks of good composition/improvisation techniques. Good with children or adults.

I enjoy beautiful, full bodied violins..my favorites change. But my viola is a Lawrence LaMay, Wisconsin, 1969. Who cares about gear? I use what's at the hall, sometimes I supplement a high quality phantom powered condensor mic.

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