Double bass, Improviser. Born Damon Jesse Smith on oct. 17th, 1972 in Spokane, WA. Did "freestyle bmx" bicycle riding from age 13 to 23. Started music in 1991, under the influence of Mike Watt (fIREHOSE & the minutemen) on fender bass. Lead several punk/art rock combos until 1994. Upon receiving Peter Kowald's landmark lp "Duos;Europa," Damon sold the fender bass and concentrated solely on double bass and free music. Damon's music is rooted in the tradition of "free jazz", with most of his professional experience coming from work with the orchestras and small ensembles of alto saxophonist marco eneidi, however, he is very interested in all the manifestations of free improvised music (jazz rooted or not!) around the world. His live and recorded efforts focus on continuing and expanding the possibilities of the double bass and "instant composition." His instrumental study focuses on classical technique and etudes, while using jazz as reference for pizzicato tone. Damon performs as a soloist and in every imaginable grouping all the way to large orchestra. He also collects recordings, specifically creative music, jazz and double bass music, and feels this is an important influence on his work ("my roots are in my record player"- evan parker).
Damon studied music theory/20th century harmony with his mother Bobbie Smith (a classically trained pianist/composer). He had initial double bass lessons with Bill Douglass, next with Lisle Ellis for one year, then classical studies with Kristin Zerneg and jazz with Michael Jones. He also had single lessons/attended workshops with; Barre Phillips, Stefano Scodanibbio, John Lindberg, Mark Dresser, Peter Kowald, William Parker, Ken Filiano, Mike Watt, David Holland, Joëlle Léandre, Bertram Turetzky and brass players Bobby Bradford, Butch Morris & Wadada Leo Smith and saxophonists Wolfgang Fuchs and John butcher. He continues semi-frequent studies with Prof. Turetzky.
Damon has Collaborated with dancers, actors and poets including Poet Jack Brewer, scoring actor William Whaley's adaptation of Henry Miller's "Tropic of Capricorn" for actor and double bass and the west coast premier of the final collaboration of Merce Cunningham and John Cage; "Ocean," Highly Influenced By modern visual arts, Damon studied painting for a short time with Tom Schultz (see cover of bpa 002) This has resulted in a notation system called "Color Architecture," dedicated to him.
Damon has performed with; Peter Brötzmann, Cecil Taylor, the "Deep Space Posse" (led by Tyrone Hill & Marshall Allen of the Sun Ra Arkestra), Peter Kowald, Glenn Spearman, Frank Gratkowski, Joëlle léandre, Jeb Bishop, John Tchicai, Andrew Voit, Douglas Ewart, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Eugene Chadbourne, Joe Biaza, Biggi Vinkeloe, Elliot Sharp, Wolfgang Fuchs , Luc Houtkamp, Peter Van Bergen, Mike Watt, Chris Cutler, William Hooker, Miya Masaoka, J.A. Deane, Sebi Tramantana, Gino Robair, Tony Bevan , Alan Silva, Boris Hauf, Tim Perkis, Jackson Krall, Eddie Gale, Gianni Gebbia, Fred Frith, Jaap Blonk, Jon Raskin, Phill Gelb, Marco Eneidi, Donald Robinson, Oluyemi Thomas, Prince Lasha, Henry Kaiser, John Butcher, Hugh Livingston and many others.