Finding inspiration in everyday life events, Smith plays by ear.
“I tell my students, ‘You play life,’” he said. “Don’t make such a big deal out of everything — say bills you can’t pay off right now — play that. True feelings, play what’s in your heart. You have nothing but one note — play that.”
Smith is considered a master of the Hammond B-3 electric organ — an electrical organ invented in the 1930s a a cheap alternative to church pipe organs. The Hammond B-3 serial is the most well know due to its inclusion by many jazz and blues keyboard musicians.
Smith’s draw to the organ comes from the instrument’s capability to plan more than one line.
“What I like about the organ that I’m the bassist, soloist and the orchestra,” Smith said, jokingly adding, “Someday I’d like to get paid for playing all the parts.”
The Trio’s performance is made possible through The Performing Arts Studio and Jazz In June Inc. collaboration.
The Heartland Summit Jazz series is made possible by support from the Norman Arts Council, Norman Chamber of Commerce, Oklahoma Arts Council, Northeast Blanco Development Corporation, Arrow Gas and Holdings, Midway Market Concert Series, Mark Williams and Fred Overstreet.