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Tommy Smith

Tommy Smith is a leading light in European jazz, first and foremost as one of the finest saxophonists of his generation, and latterly as the founder and current director of The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (SNJO). These career-defining achievements are framed by his status as an international recording artist; a composer and arranger of extraordinary ambition; and not least, as a jazz educator.

His prolific career began in earnest when, aged only sixteen, he recorded his first album Giant Strides. He was rewarded with a scholarship to Berklee College of Music, an experience that has shaped his affirmative approach to jazz. Since then, he has made twenty-seven solo albums as a leader for Blue Note, Linn and his own label Spartacus Records.

Smith has also earned the regard, support and friendship of the many respected jazz figures with whom he has collaborated and created great jazz. They include, but are not limited to, Gary Burton, Chick Corea, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny, Barron, Arild Andersen, John Scofield and Trilok Gurtu. His tenure with the SNJO has seen critically acclaimed performances and recordings of programmed and commissioned works including hugely popular treatments of Ellington, Gershwin, Mozart, Weather Report and Miles Davis.

Smith is founder and director of The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra & The Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra. Head of Jazz/Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

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BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE ★★★★★ “His tone is tungsten-tough or tender and nostalgic, his improvisations stimulating and affecting.”

“He makes ancient and modern music sound strangely compatible and in his ecstatic renderings makes Coltrane’s ‘Naima’ and even Rodgers & Hart’s “My Romance’ sound like prayers. This is a unique album.”

SCOTSMAN ★★★★★ “His toughest and most creative quartet yet.” ”TOMMY Smith is not one to do things by half measures.”

IRISH TIMES ★★★★★ “Smith’s tenor is now the uniquely personal voice of a great player”

JAZZWISE “It is quite possibly his finest recording yet.”

OBSERVER Jazz CD of the week “An auspicious first release by Smith's own label”

GUARDIAN “A rare splicing of rich-toned, pipe-like themes, fiercely guttural up-tempo tenor improv, Arabic and Irish music.” Jazz CD of the week “A very elegant take on standard jazz materials”

MOJO “Scottish saxophonist/composer’s 24th album, one of his best.”

BIRMINGHAM POST “Since Stan Getz died, Smith must be one of the chief contenders for most beautiful saxophone sound in the world.”

INDEPENDENT “Smith comes across as a true star, inhabiting the sound of his saxophone in a way very few players anywhere in the world are capable of.”

PLAYBOY MAGAZINE “Smith’s artful writing makes the band sound like a petite philharmonic.”

DOWNBEAT “Smith’s some sax-man

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Primary Instrument

Saxophone, tenor

Location

Edinburgh

Willing to teach

Advanced only

Credentials/Background

Professor of Jazz at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow

Photos (52) Slideshow

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Feb22Fri
Tommy Smith & Brian Kellock
Nairn Community & Arts Centre
Nairn, UK
£15.00
Mar25Mon
Tommy Smith
Perth Theatre
Perth, UK
Apr5Fri
Tommy Smith Quartet
Crucible Studio
Sheffield, UK
£17

Discography

Modern Jacobite

Modern Jacobite

Spartacus Records
2016

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Scottish National Jazz Orchestra: Culloden Moor Suite

Scottish National...

Spartacus Records
2015

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Whispering of the Stars

Whispering of the...

Spartacus Records
2014

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Scottish National Jazz Orchestra: American Adventure

Scottish National...

Spartacus Records
2014

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Mira

Mira

ECM Records
2014

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Scottish National Jazz Orchestra: In the Spirit of Duke

Scottish National...

Spartacus Records
2013

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Cause and Effect

Cause and Effect

Tommy Smith
Karma

Videos

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