Born: July 3, 1942 Primary Instrument: Organ, Hammond B3
Dr. Lonnie Smith is internationally known as one of the premier jazz keyboardists in the history of the idiom. A dominant talent and pace-setting proponent of the Hammond B3 Organ and widely recognized and gifted pianist, Lonnie has been at the forefront of the jazz scene since 1969 when he was named Top Organist by Downbeat Magazine. Most recently, Dr. Smith has been awarded the Organ Keyboardist of the Year award in 2003, 2004 and 2005 by the Jazz Journalist Association.
He was born in Buffalo, New York into a musical family. His family had a singing group and a radio show. Smith credits his mother as a major influence in his musical career, introducing him to gospel, classical and jazz music. As a young man in the 1950's, Smith sang in several groups including the Teen Kings. Music store owner Art Kubera gave Smith his first Hammond B3 organ. From his early years with George Benson to present day performances and recordings, Lonnie has acquired critical acclaim for his brilliant work in the jazz world....