All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Dr. Lonnie Smith

Dr. Lonnie Smith

Dr. Lonnie Smith is an NEA Jazz Master Dr. Lonnie Smith is an unparalleled musician, composer, performer and recording artist. An authentic master and guru of the Hammond B-3 organ for over five decades, he has been featured on over seventy albums, and has recorded and performed with a virtual “Who’s Who” of the greatest jazz, blues and R&B giants in the industry. Consequently, he has often been hailed as a “Legend,” a “Living Musical Icon,” and as the most creative jazz organist by a slew of music publications. Jazz Times magazine describes him as “a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a turban!” Always ahead of the curve, it is no surprise Dr. Smith’s fan-base is truly worldwide.

Born in Buffalo, New York, Lonnie was blessed with the gift of music. Through his mother, he was immersed in gospel, blues and jazz at an early age. In his teens, he sang in several vocal groups including his own–the Supremes–formed long before Motown’s eventual iconic act of the same name. Lonnie also played trumpet and other instruments at school and was a featured soloist. In the late ‘50s– with the encouragement of Art Kubera, who owned a local music store that he would visit daily–young Lonnie was given the opportunity to learn how to play a Hammond organ. By completely immersing himself in the records of organists such as Wild Bill Davis, Bill Doggett and Jimmy Smith, as well as paying rapt attention to the church organ, a young Lonnie began to find his musical voice. “Even though I didn’t know how, I was able to play right from the beginning,” Dr. Smith reflects. “I learned how to work the stops and that was it. It’s a passion for me, so everything else came naturally.” Because of Mr. Kubera’s kindness, Dr. Lonnie often refers to Art as his “angel.”

Read more
In Pictures
Live Reviews
In Pictures
Year in Review
My Blue Note Obsession
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles

Photos (86)

Discography

All In My Mind

All In My Mind

Blue Note Records
2018

buy
Evolution

Evolution

Blue Note Records
2016

buy
Dr. Lonnie Smith Octet - In The Beginning, Volumes 1 & 2

Dr. Lonnie Smith...

Pilgrimage Productions
2013

buy
The Healer

The Healer

Pilgrimage Productions
2012

buy
Spiral

Spiral

Palmetto Records
2010

buy
Rise Up!

Rise Up!

Palmetto Records
2009

buy

Watch

Similar

Jimmy Smith Jimmy Smith
organ, Hammond B3
Grant Green Grant Green
guitar
Barbara Dennerlein Barbara Dennerlein
organ, Hammond B3
Lou Donaldson Lou Donaldson
saxophone
Jimmy McGriff Jimmy McGriff
organ, Hammond B3
Larry Young Larry Young
organ, Hammond B3
Charles Earland Charles Earland
organ, Hammond B3
Johnny "Hammond" Smith Johnny "Hammond" Smith
organ, Hammond B3
Donald Byrd Donald Byrd
trumpet
Richard "Groove" Holmes Richard "Groove" Holmes
organ, Hammond B3

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.