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3 Things About Chris

Based in NYC, Chris performs with the Birdland Big Band, Dick Oatts, Randy Brecker, and Troy Roberts to name a few.

Chris has a doctorate in Jazz and is an experienced teacher of drum students from beginner to advanced.

A jazz fanatic, Chris is the author of Mel Lewis' biography "The View from the Back of the Band".

 

Chris Smith is a drummer, author, and educator based in New York City. He has performed with a wide variety of jazz musicians including Randy Brecker, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Dick Oatts, and vocalist Patti Austin. As the drummer in the Birdland Big Band he performs every Friday at the world-famous NYC club. Additionally he plays frequently at venues such as Smalls, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, and the Jazz Standard. Chris is an active recording artist, with saxophonist Dick Oatts’ album Use Your Imagination (SteepleChase) serving as a recent and prime example of his drumming.

Chris loves researching jazz history and is a published author. His book The View from the Back of the Band: The Life and Music of Mel Lewis is the only biography on drummer Mel Lewis. Available from the University of North Texas Press, the book presents a refined model for biographical research on a drummer by combining a complete biographical history with transcriptions, musical analysis, and a discography.

A passion for teaching is reflected in his frequent work as a clinician. Most recently he has given drum clinics at the University of Connecticut, University of Nebraska-Omaha, USDAN Camp for the Arts, and the Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival. His higher education teaching experience includes a previous jazz faculty appointment at the University of Northern Colorado. Currently he offers compete jazz instruction through Jazz Drum Hang. www.jazzdrumhang.com

Chris has earned a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from Northern Illinois University, a Master of Music in Jazz Arts from Manhattan School of Music, and a Doctorate in Jazz Studies from the University of Northern Colorado.

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