Called a fixture in the Central Valley (NPR), Jay Smith has had a wide variety of talent flow through his band. From jazz fusion to pop, the band has channeled a wide spectrum of musical genres to stay working and relevant. He is an Alum of California State University Bakersfield and Fresno City College where he earned his Bachelors of Arts and Associates of Arts Degree. He has opened up for groups and musicians as Carl Saunders, Poncho Sanchez, Jeff Coffin, Allan Holdsworth, Malo, Ozomatli, Clayton Cameron, and worked with Kelulu, Mento Buru, The Fresno Philharmonic, Andre Bush, Mike Dana, Velorio, and Patrick Contreras to name a few.
His current projects include Mento Buru which was voted best band of 2018 by Bakersfield Magazine and The Jay Smith Trio/Group which features a variety of players including Cesareo Garasa, Paul Perez, Jay Jay Hicks, Fernando Montoya, Steve Eisen, and Patrick Contreras to name a few.
The band's first album, Unashamed Portrayal, (available on iTunes and 30 other retailers) features Grammy Nominated Guitarist Andre Bush, Jay Jay Hicks, Saxophonist Chris Nguyen, trombonist Joe Vazquez, trumpeter Mark Manda, Fernando Montoya on acoustic and electric bass, Jonathan Weinmann on drums, and Jorge Nunzio Urbina on percussion. It's been featured on ALL ABOUT JAZZ as their download of the day.
Smith's new record, Too Many Notes, was titled by his fans based on his reputation for a blisteringly fast playing style, Patrick Contreras on electric violin, Jay Jay Hicks on 8 string bass, Cesareo Garasa on drums, Fernando Montoya on electric bass and a variety of others are featured on this release.
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If you thought jazz goes into hiding after the
Festival, you're wrong. Wildly energetic
Smith, who mentors students weekly at the
Workshop, has assembled a monster group
of players for a
special show up on the roof. Joining Smith is
nominated guitarist Andre Bush, whose
include stints with jazz heavyweights Nnenna
Allen, Andy Narell, Liz Story among others.
will be Bakersfield bassist Jay Jay Hicks, and
- Matt Munoz, Bakersfield Californian (Jul 07,
I try to incorporate what I've been told by
musicians greater than myself: learn the
what makes the music work then play like
enough (especially in this day and age) to
know how to
standards well; it really comes down to
that next level and making your own impact
on the music
Willing to teach
I have taught music for several organizations including
Unified and Panama Buena Vista School Districts, Arts
Council of Kern, Yamaha School of Music, & Bakersfield
Jazz Workshop, and have taught for ten years privately, as
well as publicly.
images courtesty of the
Bakersfield Jazz Workshop
Lesson programs include:
My rates are very affordable and I am very competitive.