Double bass, Improviser. Born Damon Jesse Smith on oct. 17th, 1972 in Spokane, WA. Did freestyle bmx bicycle riding from age 13 to 23. Started music in 1991, under the influence of Mike Watt (fIREHOSE & the minutemen) on fender bass. Lead several punk/art rock combos until 1994. Upon receiving Peter Kowald's landmark lp Duos;Europa, Damon sold the fender bass and concentrated solely on double bass and free music. Damon's music is rooted in the tradition of free jazz, with most of his professional experience coming from work with the orchestras and small ensembles of alto saxophonist marco eneidi, however, he is very interested in all the manifestations of free improvised music (jazz rooted or not!) around the world. His live and recorded efforts focus on continuing and expanding the possibilities of the double bass and instant composition. His instrumental study focuses on classical technique and etudes, while using jazz as reference for pizzicato tone. Damon performs as a soloist and in every imaginable grouping all the way to large orchestra. He also collects recordings, specifically creative music, jazz and double bass music, and feels this is an important influence on his work (my roots are in my record player- evan parker).
Damon studied music theory/20th century harmony with his mother Bobbie Smith (a classically trained pianist/composer). He had initial double bass lessons with Bill Douglass, next with Lisle Ellis for one year, then classical studies with Kristin Zerneg and jazz with Michael Jones. He also had single lessons/attended workshops with; Barre Phillips, Stefano Scodanibbio, John Lindberg, Mark Dresser, Peter Kowald, William Parker, Ken Filiano, Mike Watt, David Holland, Joëlle Léandre, Bertram Turetzky and brass players Bobby Bradford, Butch Morris & Wadada Leo Smith and saxophonists Wolfgang Fuchs and John butcher. He continues semi-frequent studies with Prof. Turetzky.