Based in New York City, Chris Smith has performed with a diverse group of jazz musicians including the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Dick Oatts, Frank Wess, Ryan Kisor, Jay Anderson, Donny McCaslin, and Tony Malaby. His drumming has been featured in venues such as The Village Vanguard, Blue Note, Telluride Jazz Festival, and Smalls. Chris maintains a performance schedule in NYC while also performing throughout the country.
Dedicated to jazz research, his latest book The View from the Back of the Band: The Life and Music of Mel Lewis is available in hardcover and e-book through the University of North Texas Press. The View from the Back of the Band presents a refined model for biographical jazz research. It is a comprehensive resource for study, combining meticulous biographical information, a discography of each recording mentioned in the text, musical transcriptions and analyses, substantial use of original interviews, and never before published photographs and memoirs.
In addition to being a performer and author, Dr. Chris Smith is also an active educator. He has higher education experience teaching undergraduate and graduate level drum set, jazz history, music business, jazz pedagogy, rhythm section workshop, jazz ensembles, percussion ensemble, and orchestral percussion. Working as a clinician and guest lecturer is also a high priority, with past appointments including the American Library in Paris, Eastern Washington University, University of Wyoming, Luther College, and University of Montana. In 2012 he earned his D.A. in Jazz Studies, with a secondary emphasis in Percussion Pedagogy, from the University of Northern Colorado.