Richard Smith

Richard Smith

Richard Smith-gitaar, Sietse Huisman-drums, Tico Pierhagen-Keyboard, Wytze van der Meer-bas


A New Release by Richard Smith

Richard’s new release “Tangos” will be in-stores on April 15, 2014!

Richard’s well-known discs have garnished praise such as “Best Contemporary Jazz Guitar Album” (Tune Up Magazine), a nomination for “Record of the Year” (Ad Lib Magazine), and “Best New Artist” (Radio & Records Magazine). His album ‘SOuLIDIFIED’ spent 17 weeks in the top 10 for radio airplay of American contemporary jazz radio (Radio and Records Magazine), and three weeks at number 1 in the world for satellite and cable airplay (Music Choice).

This has been an exciting time for Richard, a time of growth and change. In 2012 and 2013 Smith traveled to 11 countries around the globe performing music from his 13 releases and collaborating with a group of international all-stars on “Tangos” – the deepest and most engaging release of his career. The reason why Richard’s new global approach works so well is simple, he is a globally connected person, living abroad three months out of every year.

In 2012 Richard was visiting professor at Agder University, Norway, one of Europe’s finest conservatories. It was a good fit because Scandinavia has long been known for it’s unique jazz style. While in Northern Europe, Smith debuted his L.A. Chillharmonic arrangements for Big Band – bringing L.A. style funk, soul and jazz to Oslo, London, Amsterdam, and to Denmark via a residency with the Royal Academy of Music.

In Greece he became a director of the Aegean Cultural Initiative, an organization that brings together multiple cultures and global music leaders. In Sicily, the land of his ancestors, (Smith’s Italian name is Pacifico) he toured and recorded a duet project with one of the great guitar virtuosos in Europe, Francesco Buzzurro. He traveled to South Africa and Tahiti, where he led an all-star band featuring jazz phenoms Eric Marienthal and Dan Siegel, for an exclusive Jazz cruise. Smith also toured London, England, where he now directs the only overseas program for the USC Thornton School of Music, which is ranked with Julliard as one of the top music schools in the world.

And in the course of these travels he fell in love with TANGO.

“I found that wherever I went, my friends and colleagues loved tango! On one side, there is smooth, romantic, flirtatious music – which I admit, I love to write… but then, I discovered this intense music of passion, Tango, and there is a difference between the two.”

RS-0313Richard belongs to a new generation of producers who are breaking rules and making new ones. On “Tangos,” Smith manages to capture a global sound, yet retain his soulful West-coast chill-out jazz. ‘Tangos’ also represents his broadening skills as a musician – where he plays everything from guitars, mandolins, bass and hybrid instruments in luscious orchestrations, to loop mixes and effects and tracking the disc himself in studios around the world.

“In the forefront of a new generation of artists.”
– Ad lib magazine, Tokyo

To say that Smith is accomplished is an understatement, he is at the very top of his music game. He is a Full Professor, the highest rank at the university level, and for 15 years he chaired the program at USC – the same program that brought us Lee Ritenour, Paul Jackson Jr. and the L.A. Guitar Quartet. His students are working from Broadway (Spiderman Reeve Carney) and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, to tours and recordings with Marc Anthony, Snoop Dog, Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Elton John, Clay Aiken, Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus, Natalie Cole, Madonna, Michael Bolton, Bono, Maroon 5, Jenifer Lopez, John Mayer and current hit television series American Idol and Glee. He holds a double appointment at USC – in guitar and popular music performance, and is involved with major educational initiatives throughout Europe.

“The leading educator and spokesperson for the instrument and its role in American culture.”
– Bruce Forman, Professor, legendary jazz guitarist

Raised in Eugene Oregon, Smith was forever changed by attending concerts by Pat Metheny, Lee Ritenour and Chick Corea – “Eugene was a small town back then, so when big groups of the time came through, we all went!” Moving to L.A. and earning a Masters in Music from USC put Smith on the radar of many of L.A. jazz stalwarts – Max Bennett, Kenny G, Dan Siegel, Freddie Ravel, Peter White, Marc Antoine, Paul Brown, Rick Braun and Richard Elliot, with whom Smith spent 10 years and recorded six #1 discs.

“Smith covers contemporary jazz like a rug.”
– Jazz Times

“What an exciting player, I predict Smith will become one of the top guitarists of the decade.”
– L.A. Jazz Scene

“Masterful musicianship.”
– Dale Turner, West Coast Editor of Guitar One Magazine

“One of the finest guitar players around today. Absolutely Fabulous!”
– Chris Standring, recording artist