Promoting Contemporary Jazz in Northamptonshire
Tommy Smith (b.1967)Â 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 ofÂ 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 albumÂ Giant Strides. He was rewarded with a scholarship toÂ Berklee College of Music, an experience that has shaped his affirmative approach to jazz. Since then, he has madeÂ twenty-sixÂ solo albums as a leader forÂ Blue Note,Â LinnÂ and his own labelÂ 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,Â Gary Burton, Chick Corea, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny, Barron, Arild Andersen, John Scofield and Trilok Gurtu. His tenure with theÂ SNJOÂ has seen critically acclaimed performances and recordings of programmed and commissioned works including hugely popular treatments ofÂ Ellington, Gershwin, Weather ReportÂ andÂ Miles Davis. Tommy Smith is also founder/director ofÂ The Tommy Smith Youth Jazz OrchestraÂ and is current Artistic Director of the first ever full-time jazz course at theÂ Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He also holds three honorary doctorates from Heriot-Watt, Glasgow Caledonian & Edinburgh Universities and a Professorship from the RCS. His latest albumÂ KARMAÂ won him his seventhÂ Scottish Jazz AwardÂ for album of the year in 2012.
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