Dr. Lonnie Smith is a guru of the Hammond B-3 organ; for over five decades he has been featured as a musician, composer, performer and recording artist. It’s no surprise Dr. Smith’s fan base is worldwide; with over seventy albums under his belt and musical genres spanning from underground rap, to the dirty downtown blues, to modern jazz, he skillfully captures the playful groove hidden in every track.
The Doctor grew up immersed in jazz and blues, and experimented with voice, trumpet, and his church’s organ before honing into the Hammond B-3 Organ at a local music store. Later, after linking up with the guitarist George Benson in the George Benson Quartet, Dr. Smith went on to release his first recording—Finger Lickin’ Good—on Columbia Records in 1966.
Since, Dr. Smith has catapulted into the “Who’s Who” of the greatest musicians in the industry. The Doctor was recently inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, as well as the Jazz Organ Fellowship’s Hall of Fame. And in 2012, Dr. Smith launched his own recording and production company—Pilgrimage Productions—for which he will soon release a songbook series, a program designed to shed light on the organist’s expansive (yet often overlooked) career as a composer.
This performance is supported in part through the generosity of Jan DeCarli and Bruce Powell. San Jose Jazz is grateful for the support of community members co-investing in our mission to enliven Silicon Valley through great music.