Born: October 14, 1983 Primary Instrument: Piano
Jay Smith has performed with dozens of groups all over the US and Europe in a wide range of music from bebop and jazz fusion to latin rock and funk. He has worked with groups and musicians as Marcos Reyes (War), Carl Saunders, Clayton Cameron (Tony Bennet), Kelulu, Mento Buru, The Fresno Philharmonic, David Baron Stevens, Andre Bush, Mike Dana, Velorio, Zambra, and Patrick Contreras to name a few.
He has been on several radio stations and TV stations including Bakersfield's Channels 17, 23, 29/58, The Michael Nayt Show, Brighthouse Networks, and 107.1 FM KRAB, Fresno's 90.7 KSFR where he currently has his own Radio Show.
Two of his bands (Jay Smith Trio/Group and Kelulu) are selected as Featured Artists on the Global Level on Reverbnation.com. He was the lead instructor at the Bakersfield Jazz Workshop for first four years.
His latest album, Unashamed Portrayal, (available now on iTunes and 30 other retailers) features Grammy Nominated Guitarist Andre Bush, Jay Jay Hicks, Saxophonist Chris Nguyen, trombonist Joe Vazquez, trumpeter Mark Manda, Fernando Montoya on acoustic and electric bass, Jonathan Weinmann on drums, and Jorge Nunzio Urbina on percussion. It's been featured on ALL ABOUT JAZZ as their download of the day.
Awards:Featured in Bakotopia Magazine, the Bakersfield Californian and FACE Bakersfield, among others, he has been on several radio stations and TV stations including Bakersfield's Channels 17, 23, 29/58, Brighthouse Bakersfield on Demand and 107.1 FM KRAB as well as several times on Fresno's 90.7 KSFR to name a few. In 2010, two of his bands (the Modern Jazz Trio and Kelulu) were selected as Featured Artists on the Global Level on Reverbnation.com. He is a regularly featured artist and lead instructor at the Bakersfield Jazz Workshop.
I try to incorporate what I've been told by dozens of other musicians greater than myself: learn the theory behind the what makes the music work then play like yourself! It's not enough (especially in this day and age) to know how to play standards well; it really comes down to bringing the music to that next level and making your own impact on the music. - AAJ STAFF, All About Jazz (Jan 23, 2011)
I'm really excited to hear the finished album. There are such wonderful solos and excellent compositions. - Christine Walsh, KFSR with Christine (Aug 24, 2011)
A composer as well as a performer, Smith expects to release a new album in October. Titled Unashamed Portrayal, it's made up of music he's written in the past as well as some new material. It includes his full band, which is made up of Grammy-nominated guitarist Andre Bush as well as Montoya, Weinmann, Chris Nguyen, Mark Manda, Armando Joe Vazquez, Jay Jay Hicks and Nunzio Urbina. - Camille Gavin, Bakersfield Californian (Sep 01, 2011)
Helping to lay the ground work to reinvigorate the local jazz scene outside of the scholastic realm and back into the clubs where jazz music was created. - Sam Jaime, Bakotopia (Feb 05, 0009)
Jay Smith put together a killer band....Then he wowed the audience by doing something no one at the workshop had seen or heard before - JAY SMITH SANG!!! Wow - what a night! - Frank Maccioli, Bakersfield Jazz Workshop (Sep 09, 2009)
raising the profile of the local jazz scene - Jennifer Self, Bakersfield Californian (Apr 29, 2009)
During the performance, confused bystanders meandered past the window, down 19th Street toward other evening hot spots. Those of inside felt as if we were somewhere special, part of a unique downtown experience. And the musicianship on display was exquisite. - Aaron Mauldin, Face News (May 01, 2009)
Jazz has had its seeds planted in Bakersfield for decades. But those seeds aren’t enough for Jay Smith - Nick Belardes, Face News (Apr 24, 2009)
Jay Smith played the hell out of the piano, synthesizer, and keyboard � improvising as the best pianists do on jazz standards and original compositions alike. - Aaron Mauldin, Face News (May 01, 2009)
Velorio "La Negra"
Alvaro Caceres, drums/guitars
Ben Gomez, guitars/vocals
Eric Powers, synth/wedro
Jay Smith, organ
Alex Lopez, congas
Jorge Urbina, congas
Modern Jazz Trio
Jay Smith, Fender Rhodes
Jonathan Martinez, Drums
Nathan Martinez, Bass
Jay Smith, synth/keys
Jay Smith, synth/keys
Alex Lopez, drums/synth
Jay Smith, keys/synth
Robinson Crusoe on Mars
Candace Freeman Demo
Candace Freeman, vocals
Jay Smith, piano (Summertime and 'Round Midnight)
Zeke Victor, piano (Angel Eyes and No More Blues)
Jim Scully, electric bass
Danny Murillo, drums
Jay Smith Group
Jay Jay Hicks-electric bass
Fernando Montoya-acoustic bass
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Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.
I have taught music for several organizations including Fresno Unified and Panama Buena Vista School Districts, Arts Council of Kern, Yamaha School of Music, & Bakersfield Jazz Workshop, and have taught for ten years privately, as well as publicly.
images courtesty of the Bakersfield Jazz Workshop
Lesson programs include:
Creating/Building a Group
My rates are very affordable and I am very competitive.