Nick Smith
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  • West Coast In Cali
  • United States
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Nick Smith: CD "It's Like That" is Available!

Profile Information

Where are you located?
West Coast In Cali
Tell us a little about your background...
I am a Jazz Pianist from Cleveland Ohio. My father was my greatest influence being a trumpet player and bassist. I grew up with the music of John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Duke, Monk, Basie and much more. Learning and playing this music has given me the opportunity to perform with some of the world's greatest musicians: Billy Higgins, Donald Byrd, Kenny Garrett, Stanley Clarke, Carla Cook, Diane Reeves and the list goes on.

Jazz is the only art form that was originated in America and we must preserve it.

I have a CD called, "It's Like That" available through iTunes and more information about my work is available through my website listed below.

Thank you for visiting my page.
How did you hear about the Jazz Network? Please give full name of contact
Karen Briggs
What is your website address? Only websites that pertain to your business and how you can be contacted.

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Nick Smith was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He is the ninth of ten children born to Betty and James Smith. From the age of nine to sixteen, Nick and his brothers, known as Transformation, played at various Cleveland locales. After he reached sixteen, Nick formed his own band, Art Effect. He developed a following and played at several Cleveland clubs until he went to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, where he studied Jazz Composition.

Nick chose to be a Jazz Pianist because Jazz is a spiritual, versatile, and challenging art form. His playing style is precise, free flowing, and rhythmically diverse. Not only is Nick an outstanding Jazz performer, he can also play soul, funk, country and western, rock, and pop. He is a musician's musician-believing that there are only two types of music, good music and bad music. He also believes that older musicians should reach out to younger musicians to promote their interest in the fundamentals of great music and provide guidance in increasing their skills.

Nick has toured with various artists, including Stanley Clarke, Stevie Wonder, Queen Latifah, Kenny Garrett, Kirk Whalum, George Duke, Roy Ayers, Brandy, Kenny Lattimore, Donald Byrd, Michel Polnareff, and Dianne Reeves. For almost ten years, Nick toured with Stanley Clarke and worked on the Showtime series Soul Food and several movie projects. Some of the movies include Higher Learning, Eddie, Sprung, Funny Valentine, and The Color of Friendship. Nick also worked with bassist Robert Hurst on the music for the motion picture, Brown Sugar. In 1995, Nick appeared nightly on the Tonight Show featuring Jay Leno.

After leaving the Tonight Show, Nick built a home studio and began recording. He has composed enough music to complete several CD's and is currently working on three CD projects.

To learn more about Nick Smith and to purchase his CD "It's Like That" go to

dividers Pictures, Images and Photos

Jaijai and Nick chat a bit....

Jaijai: As a musician, what would you do if you lost electricity?

Nick: If I lost power I would continue to play the rest of the show on a piano—that is if one is provided. Otherwise I will get up and dance because the show must go on. Today, we have all of this great technology available to us and I have found that many musicians cannot function without electronic gadgets. But it is important for a musician to be able to play both acoustic and electronic instruments.

Jaijai: I hear you are a very powerful musician and are a bit of a musical renegade, is that true and can you explain why people catagorize you this way?

As far as being a powerful musician I am just trying to share Gods Gift. In the process of sharing Gods Gift I maintain that I should take names and leave no prisoners. I am a throwback more than a renegade. I say this because to old school musicians the music was the most important thing. I passionately feel that this is true. In my efforts to maintain the highest level of dedication to the music, sometimes I come off as being hard and truthfully, I have been hard in the past. But I have never been harder on anyone than I have been on myself. If I see a way that another musician can improve his or her skills I feel that it is my duty as a proponent of the “let’s create the best music school” to pass on the knowledge that would help them improve. And some people see this willingness to aid by giving constructive criticism as a negative personality trait.

Jaijai: If you were to be endorsed by any instrument companies who would they be and why?

Nick: Acoustic—Fazioli Piano is my favorite piano. Not only is it a gorgeous piece of furniture, the sound and the feel are absolutely amazing and to top it of we share Italian heritage.

Electronics—I love the Kurzweil PC3X. I have used Kurzweil keyboards since 1995. To me Kurzweil makes the best performance/controller keyboard today.

Jaijai: You bring many talents to the fold of music, what areas of the music business do you often get called upon for collaborations and are available to lend your expertise to?

Nick: I have done music for TV and film productions and I have co-produced with other artists. It has often been said that I have an uncanny ability to simulate the actual phrasing and techniques of other instruments on the keyboard. I have also been called upon to tour with various artists both in the capacity of main soloist and parts player. I make myself available to collaborating in songwriting, recording, producing other artists, clinics and seminars as well music direction and piano instruction.

Jaijai: It is my pleasure to present you and your brilliant artistry to The Jazz Network worldwide and know that many will be reaching out to you for all of the areas of business that you make yourself available for, thank you for being a part of our jazz family and for what you pour into the world! May your current release "It's Like That" be a great sucess for you for its a powerful piece of work! God Bless your musical journey!

Comment Wall (46 comments)

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At 12:02pm on August 13, 2009, Ava DuPree said…
Nick, I'm trying to reach you. Call me on 818-749-3210. The sooner, the better!

At 12:24pm on March 26, 2009, Ty G said…
Right back at you. We will work together soon.
Ty G
At 7:28am on March 26, 2009, Luiz Santos said…
Hi Nick,
Check out my New SPRING Album!
Peace, Luiz
At 12:05pm on February 21, 2009, Gregory Thomas said…
Hi Nick,

I haven't been on the Jazz Network for a few weeks, so please excuse my delayed response.

I checked out your site, and clips. You sound very good! Re: Jazz it Up!, do you ever play in the NY area? For now, we're only taping in the tri-state area.

Hope to meet you when you visit the Big Apple!

Keep swingin',

Greg Thomas
At 10:17am on February 9, 2009, Jaijai Jackson said…
I love seeing all these great comments about your artistry Nick, only goes to show that being featured on The Jazz Network pays off!

Happy happy happy,
At 2:36pm on February 8, 2009, Stan The Man said…
Great music Nick, May success always follow you man

Click on the "Graphic" to take you there.
At 9:08am on February 7, 2009, Jeff Duperon said…

I actually have a copy of your 2004 release. I pulled the disc from my library. Nice work. I will put the disc in my travel case and will play tracks in the coming weeks. We are in Fund Drive mode at the moment and I am unable to schedule on-air conversations. I'm also booked until the second week of March. Do you have a more recent release? Of so let me know and I'll provide mailing information off line.
At 7:22am on February 5, 2009, Michael Matheny said…
Hello Nick.. I am very much enjoying listening to your samples here on this page.. I hope you will email me at to get our mailing address at the studios. We would love to present your music to our world wide audience at ... You are in some pretty good company with Clark, Sanchez, and Chambers.. regulars on radioIO REAL JAZZ.. Sounds to me your music would be a great discovery for our listeners.. all the best, drmike, host of radioIO suite of jazz..
At 2:27am on February 5, 2009, Earl "Tee" Harris said…
Hey Nick,
Thanks for the invite.

Incredible, masterful musicianship & composition!

You are one of the truly important voices in jazz today and I'm honored to know you, have played with you and to call you friend.

At 1:00am on February 2, 2009, Shmael Ben Israel said…
Greetings Nick, Glad you remember me and thanks for the invite. Yes, it has been a long time but I am so happy to see you as well as all the others brothers from Cleveland still pushing the sound. I wish you the best with your new CD. By the way there is someone else here in Israel you may know. Kazakeeyah, he's a vibraphonist,percussionist, who teaches his own course of cultural aesthetics. He would have to explain it, but he has been very successful with it. So we will be in touch. Ben











Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.

I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.

My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."

Let's be audacious, my friends!

Buster Williams


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