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Alma Smith

By Jim Gallert

Alma Smith has been a professional musician for more than fifty years. The youngest of nine children, Alma was born in Montgomery, Alabama and raised in the North End area of Detroit. Alma's fascination with music started early. Her mother had played piano as a youngster and she encouraged Alma to continue.

“My brother played very good boogie-woogie, but he died young,” she recalls. “And my sister could play. But I was the one that made music my livelihood.”

Alma's keyboard prowess was recognized early on, and she received lessons when her family could support them. Alma went to Cass Technical High School as a music major and also honed her dancing skills by taking lessons from La Claire Knox.

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