picture of Donald Smith
Donald Smith
Donald was born in Richmond, Virginia as the son of an internationally known member of the Harmonizing Four, the oldest living professional gospel group in the USA. Donald attended school in Richmond. Upon graduation he entered the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and majored in music. While a member of the school jazz band they won three national collegiate awards as the outstanding jazz band in the country. Individually Donald won the national collegiate award for best male vocalist two consecutive years. In the Champaign-Urbana community Donald performed as organist and flutist with the renowned Tony Zamora Territorial Band. This group was well known in the Tri-State area of Illinois, Indiana and Iowa not only for the music played, but for the number of musicians who have entered the teaching field of American-Classical Music and professional ranks worldwide.
As a pianist, organist and vocalist, Donald has performed and recorded with many nationally and internationally known artists including: Art Blakey, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Benny Carter, Archie Shepp, Dizzy Gillespie, Jackie McLean, Leon Thomas, Pharoah Sanders, Oliver Lake, Yon and Chico Freeman, and Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Big Band. Donald was the lead vocalist and Flautist with his brother Lonnie Liston Smith for five years.
In the early 1980's, he recorded with Lester Bowie, Oliver Lake, and Craig Harris. Later, he was a steady guest in the New York club St. Nick's Pub.
on tour Click on the logo to see Donald's tour dates.


The Great Pretender
ECM Records ECM 120
recorded June 1981 in Ludwigsburg/Germany
Lester Bowie, trumpet
Hamiet Bluiett, baritone sax
Donald Smith, piano, organ
Fred Williams, bass
Phillip Wilson, drums
David Peaston, vocals
Fontella Bass, vocals
Breath Of Life
Electra/Nonesuch 79309
recorded April and September 1992 in USA
Hamiet Bluiett, baritone sax, contra-alto clarinet
Arthur Blythe, alto sax
Oliver Lake, alto sax
David Murray, tenor sax, bass clarinet
Amina Claudine Myers, organ
Donald Smith, piano, organ
Fred Hopkins, bass
Tarik Shah, bass
Ronnie Burrage, drums
Gene Lake, drums
Fontella Bass, vocals, piano

Sound Samples
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