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Enoch Smith Jr.

Pianist-composer Enoch Smith Jr.’s music doesn’t fit handily into any narrowly defined stylistic category. While the jazz mainstream and the influences of piano giants from Oscar Peterson to Keith Jarrett are readily apparent, Smith’s unique musical approach is also steeped in his ongoing work as a church pianist and the sounds of such late gospel keyboard greats as James Cleveland and Thomas Whitfield. On his newly released third album, Misfits II: Pop, the Rochester, New York-born, Allentown, New Jersey-based musician delves into some of the pop and R&B songs that impacted him while he was growing up, shining new light on hits associated with the Beatles, Joan Osborne, Amerie, and the Roots. Beats derived from hip-hop continue to inform his arrangements, much as they did on 2011’s critically acclaimed Misfits, but this time around Smith has added an actual rapper, inspirational New Orleans MC Dee-1, for the second of his two imaginative treatments of the Shirley Caesar gospel classic “Sweepin through the City.”

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Allentown, NJ

Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced

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