Primary Instrument: Drums
Syd. Smart, The 1st through 1998 JCMC (excluding the 13th) , began studies in percussion as a child with his father and older brother. Other teachers include: Milford Graves (US), Ken McIntyre (US), Cecil Taylor (US), Babatunde Olatunji (Nigeria), Steve Barrios (Puerto Rico), Ibrahima Camara (Senegal), Jose Luis Quintana, aka Changuito (Cuba), and Juan de la Oliva (Spain). Syd was a Music Education Major at Central State University in the late 60's and in 1973 recieved a Black Music fellowship to teach and study at Bennington College in Vermont, where he completed his B.A. Degree. He holds a Masters Degree in Education and Elementary Teacher Certification.
Syd founded the Friends of Great Black Music, an organization in support of local artists involved in the musics of the African/American Diaspora. He is also the co-founder of the Annual John Coltrane Memorial Concert Series. Syd has had extensive experience composing for dance, and with Joan-Green Co., founded the Children's Dance Project, which expanded to become the Cambridge Performance Project, a city wide perfoming arts program. Annually, Syd co-conducts Sound and Movement in Nature, a workshop offered by the Expressive Therapies division of Lesley College.
In 1992, Syd was a resident performing artist at the World Exposition, Expo '92, in Seville, Spain. While there, on leave from his position with the Cambridge Public Schools, he began curriculum development of an Integrated Thematic Unit of Spain, for third and fourth graders. In 1997, he was a recipient of the prestigious Dance Belt Award, awarded by the City of Cambridge, MA, for his long-standing support of the arts community. Recently, he joined a team of developers for a soon to be published curriculum that integrates African drums and algebra.
Performance experience includes: Karamu House, Art of Black Dance and Music, Rod Rodgers Dance Co., Boston Art Ensemble, Sam Rivers, Jimmy Lyons, Bill Dixon, in Spain with Juan Oliva, Angel de Jesus and presently with Stan Strickland & Ascension, Eric Zinman, Glynis Lomon, Mario Rechtern and Action Painter, Nancy Ostrovsky.