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Marvin "Smitty" Smith

Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Born June 24, 1961 in Waukegan (Illinois). “It was a very natural inclination for me to play drums,” says Marvin “Smitty” Smith. A glance at his early life validates that truth. Born the son of a drummer, Marvin, Sr., was always surrounded by music in the house.

At six months old, he would climb up on the large lounge chair positioned directly in front of his father's drum set and would watch him practice, intensely. Whenever his father took a break, he would crawl over and press the foot pedals and attempt to emulate his dad. That experience, and banging on pots and pans, was the extent of his playing until he began formal training at the age of three.

Today, Marvin “Smitty” Smith is a young musician extraordinaire whose work has been described as a “comment on invention, firm and adventurous time and technical sufficiency.” He has traveled extensively throughout the Orient, Europe, and the continental USA; and he has shared the stage with such greats as Sonny Rollins, Hank Jones, Frank Foster and Frank Wess, Art Farmer, Benny Golson, Slide Hampton, and Milt Jackson. He is a former member of the Ron Carter Quartet, The New York Jazz Quartet, and The Art Farmer/Benny Golson Jazztet.

Featured on more than 45 albums, additional performances and recordings augmented with Terence Blanchard and Donald Harrison, Ray Brown and Phineas Newborn, George Shearing, Bobby Watson, Hamiet Bluiett, Branford Marsalis, David Murray, Emily Remler, Peter Leicht, Kevin Eubanks, Donald Byrd, Monty Alexander, Diane Reeves, Michel Camilo, and Grover Washington Jr. Currently he's a member of Steve Coleman's Five Elements, and The Dave Holland Quartet. Smitty conducts seminars and clinics for students in jazz workshops, both in the United States and Europe; and is currently on staff of jazz program at the Banff Centre of Fine Arts, Canada, and Drummers Collective, New York City.

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”As important as his versatility, swing, and ability to interpret and interact, is the actual sound or timbre of his drums— Smitty has a true, resonant, musical quality that continues the lineage of Dodds, Catlett, Clarke, Roach and the Joneses (Elvin and Philly Joe).” —Peter Leitch

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