I am excited to have a new website — powered by WordPress!  I am still getting the hang of posting, but like what I have seen and experienced so far.  I started the month by playing at the Arizona Classic Jazz Festival with Kris Tokarski (piano) and Andy Schumm (cornet and clarinet) and had a terrific time.  Next up is a trip to New Orleans and Pensacola to debut my new group: The ON THE LEVEE BAND — playing the music of Kid Ory.  Clint Baker (trombone), Ben Polcer (cornet), Joe Goldberg (clarinet), Kris Tokarski (piano), Alex Belhaj (guitar) and Joshua Gouzy (bass) make up the OTL.  I literally can’t wait to play Ory’s music with these wonderful musicians.  It will be the culmination of a longtime dream!

After the Pensacola concert, I head for Austin, and the Austin Lindy Exchange.  I will be in good musical company there as well: the Thrift Set Orchestra, Jonathan Doyle Swingtet and my own Swing Central (with guests Kris Tokarski and Ryan Gould).

After a quick trip home, I will be at the San Diego JazzFest — once again with Kris and Jonathan, in a quintet that also includes Larry Scala (guitar) and Nobu Ozaki (bass).  In addition, I will play the “Saturday Night Swing Extravaganza” with a very special edition of Jonathan’s Swingtet (Marc Caparone, April West, Kris, Katie Cavera, Marty Eggers); a Johnny Cash tribute set with my buddy Gino Meregillano’s Cash In Hand Band and three sets with Dave Bennett and the Memphis Speed Kings.

Besides the groups listed above, I am also working on bookings for Pretty Wild (see the “music” page for a demonstration of this hot combination).  I hope to do a lot more playing with Pretty Wild AND On The Levee in 2018 – 2019. Meanwhile, I look forward to seeing you in Arizona, New Orleans, Pensacola, Austin AND San Diego.

Thanks for stopping by.

— Hal Smith