Jazz – Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra in concert
Saturday, 15th Sept, 8pm, age 10+
Tommy Smith is a Scottish jazz performer and composer with an international reputation. A child prodigy he recorded his first album Giant Strides (1983) at the age of sixteen. In the same year he won a scholarship to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music, Boston.
2012 marks the tenth anniversary of Tommy's hugely successful Youth Jazz Orchestra, which brings together some of the hottest young talent Scotland has to offer. As part of their anniversary year the TSYJO will be touring the Highlands and Islands with a set that pays tribute to some of the jazz greats – Duke Ellington, Dizzie Gillespie, Miles Davis and many more.
"It's possible that Smith's greatest achievement may be his formation of the Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra in 2002. Featuring some of the country's best up-and-coming jazz musicians, with ages as young as fifteen (rumour has it some were even younger) and as old as twenty-three, Smith has created a unique educational opportunity. Schooling is one thing; getting out on the bandstand and living it is another." (John Kelman, All About Jazz)
Saturday's performance will begin with a set from the Caithness Big Band who are to spend two days in workshop sessions with Tommy as part of Lyth's continuing series of Jazz Exchanges.
CBB love to play swing and are past masters at playing all the popular hits of the 1930s and 40s with great aplomb. In recent years they have also been extending their repertoire with more contemporary material and have been gaining confidence with improvisation. Here's a video of the CBB in action at Lyth in 2011.