"When Hal Smith plays, the spirits of George Wettling, Zutty Singleton and Dave Tough smile. Rather than just sounding like his predecessors, Hal Smith plays like a creative drummer from 1936, uplifting music with taste, swing, class and subtle ideas. Whether it is small group swing, San Francisco jazz, 1920s classics or freewheeling Eddie Condon jazz, Hal Smith is the perfect drummer for each situation."

– Scott Yanow

Scott Yanow is the author of ten books including
Classic Jazz, The Jazz Singers and Jazz On Record 1917-76.

Hal Smith took up drumming in 1963. He was influenced by hearing classic jazz drummers in person: Ben Pollack, Wayne Jones, Fred Higuera and particularly Nick Fatool. Later he took lessons from Jake Hanna. Hal has also been inspired by the recordings of Big Sid Catlett, Dave Tough, Zutty Singleton, Jo Jones, Morey Feld, Minor Hall, Gene Krupa, George Wettling and Ray Bauduc as well as lesser-known drummers Harry Dial, Johnny Wells, Vic Berton and Stan King. Besides drumming with Jazz groups, Hal has played with a number of Western Swing, Rockabilly and Blues groups.

He is also an accomplished writer, whose articles and reviews have been published in the Mississippi Rag, American Rag, Jazz Rambler, Just Jazz (U.K.), the Bulletin of the Hot Club of France and as reprints in jazz publications across the U.S. Hal has a long involvement with America's Finest City Dixieland Jazz Society, where he has served as President, Assistant Director, Board Member, with the Festival Steering Committee and as a co-founder of, and instructor at, AFCDJS' annual Adult Jazz Camp. At the present time he is the Artistic Advisor for the San Diego Jazz Fest. http://www.sdjazzfest.org/

Hal travels from his home in Searcy, Arkansas to work with:

Kris Tokarski (New Orleans, LA)

Kris Torkarski

Tim Laughlin (New Orleans, LA)

Tim Laughlin

Swing Central (Reunion Band)

Swing Central

On The Levee Band (New Orleans, LA)

On The Levee Band

Brooks Prumo Orchestra (Austin, TX)

On The Levee Band

Banu Gibson and Hot Jazz (New Orleans, LA)

Banu Gibson

Rock Island Roustabouts (Reunion Band)

Rock Island Roustabouts

Cash In Hand Band (Winchester, CA)

Cash In Hand Band

The Memphis Speed Kings (Reunion Band)

Swing Central

For more information concerning any of these groups, please contact me: hws08 at live dot com.

Hal plays GRETSCH Drums, SABIAN Cymbals and VIC FIRTH Sticks

Gretsch Drums

SabinVic Firth