Tommy Smith

Born: April 27, 1967    Primary Instrument: Saxophone

Tommy Smith

Award-winning Scottish saxophonist-composer-educator Tommy Smith is a creative force in improvised music performing in settings from solo to symphonic concerts and is one of Europe’s leading musicians. He has recorded 24 solo albums as a leader for Blue Note, Linn and his own label Spartacus Records and worked with stars like Chick Corea, Gary Burton, Jack DeJohnette, Arild Andersen, Trilok Gurtu, Jaco Pastorius and John Scofield. Director of the internationally acclaimed Scottish National Jazz Orchestra since 1995, and his own youth jazz orchestra since 2000, he is also artistic director of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s jazz course...
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2013 Honorary Doctorate of Music [University of Edinburgh] 2012 British Jazz Award [Big Band] Parliamentary Jazz Award [Big Band] Scottish Jazz Award [Educator] Scottish Jazz Award [Best Album 'KARMA'] 2011 Scottish Jazz Award [Educator] Scottish Jazz Award [Big Band] 2009 Scottish Jazz Award [Big Band] Scottish Jazz Award [Woodwind] 2008 Honorary Doctorate of Letters [Caledonian University, Glasgow] Heart of Jazz Award [BBC Jazz Awards#2008] 2002 The British Jazz Awards [Best Tenor Saxophonist] 2000 Scottish Arts Council [Creative Scotland Award] Honorary Fellow of the [Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland] Honorary Doctorate [Heriot-Watt University], Edinburgh 1996 Arts Foundation/Barclays Bank [Jazz Composition Fellowship Prize] BT British Jazz Award 1992 Wavendon All Music Awards [Services to Music] 1989 British Jazz Award 1986 BBC National Big Band Competition [Outstanding Musician Award] 1981 Edinburgh Jazz Festival [Best Band] Edinburgh Jazz Festival [Best Soloist]
“Tommy is an incredible writer and a great, great player.” —John Scofield

“Tommy Smith, the most talented tenor sax star to arrive on the world scene in years.” —Gary Burton

“Tommy a unique sound and approach. I like it from when I frst heard him play as a student at Berklee.” —Chick Corea

“One of the important voices in the young tenor players of today.” —Jack DeJohnette

“Smith’s artful writing makes the band sound like a petite philharmonic.” — Neil Tesser, Playboy Magazine

“He makes ancient and modern music sound strangely compatible and in his ecstatic renderings makes Coltrane’s ‘Naima’ and even Rodgers & Hart’s “My Romance’ sound like prayers. This is a unique album.” —Ian Carr, BBC MUSIC MAG

“Smith’s some saxman. Possessing a shining powerful tone and masterful technique, he creates melodies, not riffs, even if the tempo is outrageous.” — Zan Stewart, Downbeat

“Smith’s soloing… is superb,never more so than in a stunning, utterly solo rendering of Solitude.” —Los Angeles Times

“Since Stan Getz died, Smith must be one of the chief contenders for most beautiful saxophone sound in the world.” —Birmingham Post

“Smith comes across as a true star, inhabiting the sound of his saxophone in a way very few players anywhere in the world are capable of.” —The Independent

1981 European Community Jazz Orchestra, Eurojazz 1983 Tommy Smith, Giant Strides (Hep Records) 1983 Tommy Smith, Taking Off (Head Records) 1985 Tommy Smith/Forward Motion, The Berklee Tapes (Hep Records) 1986 Gary Burton Group, Whiz Kids (ECM Records) 1988 Tommy Smith, Step by Step (Blue Note Records) 1990 Tommy Smith, Peeping Tom (Blue Note Records) 1991 Tommy Smith, Standards (Blue Note Records) 1992 Tommy Smith, Paris (Blue Note Records) 1993 Tommy Smith/Forward Motion, Reminiscence (Linn Records) 1994 Tommy Smith, Misty Morning and No Time (Linn Records) 1995 Tommy Smith, Azure (Linn Records) 1996 Tommy Smith, Beasts of Scotland (Linn Records) 1997 Tommy Smith, The Sound of Love (Linn Records) 1997 Karen Matheson, The Dreaming Sea (Survival Records) 1999 Tommy Smith, Blue Smith (Linn Records) 1999 Tommy Smith & Murray McLachlan, Gymnopedié (Linn Records) 1999 Hue & Cry, Jazz Not Jazz (Linn Records) 2000 Tommy Smith Quartet, Spartacus (Spartacus Records) 2000 Hue & Cry, Next Move (Linn Records) 2001 Tommy Smith, Into Silence (Spartacus Records) 2001 Tommy Smith Quartet, The Christmas Concert (Spartacus Records) 2001 Clark Tracey, Stability (Linn Records) 2002 Tommy Smith, Alone At Last (Spartacus Records) 2002 Tommy Smith & Brian Kellock, Bezique (Spartacus Records) 2002 Scottish National Jazz Orchestra/Ingrid Jensen, Miles Ahead (Spartacus) 2003 Tommy Smith, Evolution (Spartacus Records) 2004 Tommy Smith & Brian Kellock, Symbiosis (Spartacus Records) 2004 Joe Locke, Dear Life (Sirocco Records) 2005 Tommy Smith Quartet, Forbidden Fruit (Spartacus Records) 2005 Renolds Jazz Orchestra, Cube (Shanti) 2006 Pino Iodice, High Tension 2007 Loic Dequidt Quartet, Nomade (Kopasetic) 2008 Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra, Exploration (Spartacus Records) 2008 Arild Andersen/Paolo Vinaccia/Tommy Smith, Live at Belleville (ECM) 2009 Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, Rhapsody in Blue LIVE (Spartacus) 2010 Karma (Spartacus) 2011 Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra, Emergence (Spartacus Records) 2012 Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, Celebration (ECM) 2013 Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, In the Spirit of Duke (Spartacus Records)

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Primary Instrument:

Lanark, ML11

Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.

Professor of Jazz at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow

Rico Jazz Select Reeds

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