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30 December 2018Tommy Smith receives OBE in New Year's honours list

Saxophonist Tommy Smith has been awarded an OBE for services to education and jazz in the 2019 New Year honours list.

Edinburgh-born Smith has been a presence on the international jazz scene and a champion of jazz in Scotland since he emerged as a precocious talent in his teens during the 1980s. Following studies at Berklee School of Music in Boston he toured the world with vibes virtuoso Gary Burton and subsequently recorded for major jazz labels Blue Note and ECM before forming his own record company, Spartacus in 2000.

He founded the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, which he still directs, in 1995 and successfully campaigned for a jazz course to be established at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS). He is now professor of jazz at the RCS and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Edinburgh, Glasgow Caledonian University and Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

As well as his career as a bandleader and teaching at the RCS, Smith runs his own internationally acclaimed Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra to nurture young talent. He currently tours internationally with Norwegian bass master Arild Andersen's trio and tours and records with his own group, Tommy Smith Quartet: Embodying the Light, and in a duo with pianist Brian Kellock.

On learning of his OBE, Smith said: "I am surprised and delighted to be given this honour. I have been passionate about the value of jazz education since my own experiences as a young musician and would like to dedicate this honour to all the teachers and musicians who have played a part in my development." 

 

                                     

                       Tommy Smith leading his latest group, Tommy Smith Quartet: Embodying the Light 

28 November 2018Glasgow's Late Night Studio Jazz series bows out of 2018 in style

Glasgow UNESCO City of Music's popular Late Night Studio Jazz series at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall goes into its final phase of 2018 when saxophonist Paul Towndrow celebrates his 40th birthday with a special performance of Charlie Parker with Strings on December 15. 

Towndrow, who previously presented the Parker project in a double 'with strings' programme with trumpeter Ryan Quigley playing Clifford Brown's music, is also due to reprise his major work for jazz big band, folk musicians and Indian percussion, Deepening the River, at Celtic Connections in January.  

For the last concert in the Late Night Studio Jazz series, Carol Kidd and pianist Brian Kellock sing and swing the Great American Songbook on December 22. The concerts begin at 8:30pm.

 

                               

                                                                    Paul Towndrow

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