jazz & blues music blog with news, reviews, concerts & more, with a Canadian focus

January 22, 2007

Dr. Lonnie Smith Returns to Vancouver

Written by
cindy mcleod

Canadian jazz music live

Dr. Lonnie Smith is a Leading Figure in Jazz


Dr. Lonnie Smith
Cellar Jazz, Vancouver
Friday, January 26

Hammond B3 wizard Dr. Lonnie Smith makes a one-night return to the Cellar in Vancouver on Friday, Jan. 26th, hitting the stage with local greats Bill Coon (guitar), Ross Taggart (tenor), Cory Weeds (alto), and Bernie Arai (drums).

A leading figure in jazz music, Smith has stamped the footprint for Jazz Organ, has built a performance career lasting over fifty years and appears on over seventy albums. More recently he has been selected as ‘Organ Keyboardist of the Year’ by The Jazz Journalist Association (2003, 2004 and 2005).

Born in Buffalo, New York, Smith’s mother exposed him to gospel, blues and jazz at an early age. As a teen he went on to sing in several vocal groups and played trumpet at school. In the late 50’s he was given a Hammond B-3 organ by a local music store owner, playing his first gigs at Buffalo’s Pine Grill club, and bringing him to the attention of musicians Jack McDuff, Lou Donaldson, and George Benson. He also caught the ear of Jimmy Boyd—who signed Smith to record with Grant Green. Soon after he moved to NYC and began playing regularly in George Benson’s Quartet. He made his first recording as a leader on Columbia Records, and after recording the seminal jazz gem “Alligator Boogaloo,” Smith was signed to Blue Note Records.

Lonnie has recorded and performed straight-ahead jazz, funk and acid-jazz recordings with a legion of giants including; Randy Brecker, John Abercrombie, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Ronnie Cuber, Kenny Garrett, Lenny White, Reuben Wilson, Lee Morgan, David ‘Fat Head’ Newman, King Curtis, Blue Mitchell, Joe Lovano, Jimmy McGriff, Frank Foster, Ron Carter, Grover Washington, Jr., Dizzy Gillespie, and many more.

Over the past decade Dr. Smith has found himself sampled in rap, dance and house grooves, and is being credited as a forefather of Acid Jazz, adding another generation of music fans to his loyal followers.

Friday, Jan. 26
Dr. Lonnie Smith (Hammond B3)
with Bill Coon (guitar), Ross Taggart (tenor), Cory Weeds (alto), Bernie Arai (drums)
Cellar Jazz / Vancouver

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.