Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

Johnny Smith

Guitarist Johnny Smith's career spans the decades of the 1940's through the 1990's. From the very beginning of his musical career he influenced the playing of other guitarists. In fact, many mention Smith as a major influence on their playing. The major guitar builders as Guild, Gibson, Benedetto, and the Heritage all have their signature Johnny Smith high end models as a tribute to this master.

John Henry Smith, Jr. was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1922 and was only five years old when he became fascinated with the guitar. His father played five-string banjo but guitar was John's first and lasting love. Initially he was frustrated by the lack of a guitar teacher or instruction manuals: determined to master the instrument, he taught himself to play. Many outstanding and individual jazz soloists have fallen back on the empirical method for the same reason as Smith and emerged with wholly distinctive sounds. In 1935 the Smith family moved to Portland, Maine: Johnny was 13 and good enough to play in local bands.

Read more

13 Photos

Discography

Videos

Similar

Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Bill Evans Bill Evans
piano
Kenny Burrell Kenny Burrell
guitar
Joe Pass Joe Pass
guitar
Jimmy Smith Jimmy Smith
organ, Hammond B3
Barney Kessel Barney Kessel
guitar, electric
Jim Hall Jim Hall
guitar
Tal Farlow Tal Farlow
guitar
Charlie Byrd Charlie Byrd
guitar
Milt Jackson Milt Jackson
vibraphone
Herb Ellis Herb Ellis
guitar

Premium Profiles

Phil Allen Phil Allen
trombone
Suzanne Grzanna Suzanne Grzanna
sax, alto
Behn Gillece Behn Gillece
vibraphone
Quinsin Nachoff Quinsin Nachoff
saxophone
Hilary Kole Hilary Kole
vocalist
David Longoria David Longoria
trumpet
Jack DeSalvo Jack DeSalvo
guitar
Kirk MacDonald Kirk MacDonald
saxophone
La Tanya Hall La Tanya Hall
vocalist
Jon Dreyer Jon Dreyer
bass, acoustic
Maureen Choi Maureen Choi
violin

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!