Born: September 5, 1973 Primary Instrument: Saxophone
Kreston was born in Decatur, Alabama, but raised in Memphis for most of his life. He comes from a musical family whose legacy of talent lives on through him. He started playing piano at the age of 5 and later picked up the guitar and saxophone. His grandmother taught him his first song on piano, “Amazing Grace” at the age of five. Along with being the President and founder of the Bartlett Music Academy, he was the Jazz Band Director for Arlington High School for 2006-2007 and is the music director for Bolton United Methodist. Kreston founded BMA in 2002 after teaching privately for 9 years on a freelance basis. Today, BMA offers classes on every instrument and is teaching almost 400 students per week. Along with having a consistent student presence at All-West competitions, he also serves as a Judge for the Mid-South Fair Youth Talent Contest.
In 1986, Kreston started playing saxophone for the Raleigh Egypt Jr. High Jazz Band. He continued with the jazz program until he graduated in 1991. After high school, Kreston attended Shelby State Community College and the University of Memphis, where he had the opportunity to play and learn from some very talented teachers and clinicians - Bob Berg, Ernie Watts, James Williams, Eric Marienthal, Erroll Thomas, Tom Lonardo, Alvin Batiste, Tony Reedus, Kennan Shotwell, Michael Scott, Art Edmaiston, Allen Rippe, Jack Cooper, Tim Goodwin, Dave Lisik, David Spencer and Charles Pender. At Shelby State, Kreston was recognized as the “Most Talented Musician” two semesters in a row.
Kreston recorded his first project, “Public Domain” with Notable Memphian Pianist, Tony Thomas in 2005. Kreston has also recorded for Black Dog Records in Jackson, MS. and has performed at venues like The Peabody, Isaac Hayes, Bartlett Performing Arts Center, Canon Center, Precious Cargo, The Shell, Blues City Café, Yosemite Sam’s and The Pig with the following musicians and bands: Zanerac, Dr. Jack Cooper, Marvin Stamm, Tony Thomas, Stormie Williams, Jason and the Bottomline, Prentiss Wulff, Lee Sharp, Corey Osbourne, Hooked, Derek Brookshire, Paul Morelli, Tim Goodwin, Memphis Slim, Southern Comfort Jazz Ensemble, Blue Ascendance, University of Memphis Wind Ensemble, University of Memphis Symphonic Band, U of M Saxophone Quartet, U of M Supersax Quintet, Billy Reasons, Crosswind, Brian Neal, Crosspointe Baptist Praise Team, Crossover Band, CJ and the Kwest, Sentimental Swing Band, Bartlett Community Band, and The Ridgerunners.
Since 1993, Kreston has helped beginners to advanced level saxophonists achieve their best potential. Many of his students have earned full paid scholarships to college, All-west TN Band placement, and Superiors at Solo and Ensemble. Over the years, Kreston has put together a unique teaching style that utilizes the most effective teaching techniques he has learned and from studying the following books: Dave Liebman - “Complete guide to saxophone sound production”, Larry Teal • “The Art of Playing Saxophone”, Jamey Abersold “How to play Jazz”, Tim Price -www.timpricejazz.com, Jerry Coker “How to Practice Jazz”, Donald Sinta - “How to play Saxophone” Video, Eric Marienthal - “Play saxophone from day one” Video & “Modern Saxophone” Video (Plus he has had a private lesson with Eric), along with countless etude books by Bob Mintzer, David Baker, the Charlie Parker Omnibook, and many more. In the classroom, Kreston focuses on the importance of good tone production, technique, repertoire choices, sight reading, ear training, improvisation, theory, performance and listening. Using his extensive library of books totaling over $20k, a Korg 16 Track Digital Recording Station and wireless internet access, Kreston is able to tackle just about any problem a player has. Standard classical repertoire, pop, rock-n-roll, jazz and blues etudes are also used in each lesson to challenge the student and to make it fun for them. Each piece is accompanied by a CD track or by Kreston on the piano or saxophone. This approach gives the student the feeling of playing with an ensemble while helping them learn how to play with good time.
Record Label - Independent
Year Released - 2005
Tracks: Track; Track.
Kreston Smith - Saxophone
Tony Thomas - Keys
As A Side Musician
Song of my Heart
Black Dog Records
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Willing to teach:
Please see bio.