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Catch beat at jazz series

Born and raised in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Neal Smith has been playing drums since the age of 5. By the time he completed high school he had achieved a remarkable list of performance accomplishments and earned an impressive array of awards, scholarships and honors.With the support of his family, Neal continued his studies at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he received a bachelor of music in jazz studies and performance, the first African-American to earn a degree in jazz studies from the conservatory.Smith will play Glenwood Springs Summer of Jazz at 7 p.m. next Wednesday in Two Rivers Park. Smith has studied with Michael Carvin, Vernell Fournier, Jeff Hamilton, Jack DeJohnette, Greg Bandy, Paul Samuels, Tom Freer, Bruce Collie and Michael Rosen. He has played in live theater, including the Off-Broadway hits “Generations,” produced by Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, and “BoBos,” written and produced by James McBride with Ed Shockley and Donna Trinkoff. Smith leads his own group, which performs original compositions as well as classic arrangements of jazz standards. He also performs regularly with other groups, including the Cyrus Chestnut Trio. He has cut a number of recordings with jazz colleagues.He has shared the stage with the likes of Cyrus Chestnut, Anita Baker, Geri Allen, Marcus Belgrave, Donald Byrd, Kenny Burrell, Jimmy Owens, Eddie Harris, Isaac Hayes, Gary Bartz, Benny Golson, Antonio Hart, Kenny Barron, Benny Green, Frank Foster, Dewey Redman, Mark Whitfield, Benny Bailey, Tom Harrell, Ronnie Mathews, Rufus Reid, Wendel Logan, Ray Drummond, Richard Davis, James Moody, Muhal Richard Abrams and Vanessa Rubin. Beyond performing, Neal loves to teach developing drummers. He maintains a rehearsal studio in New York City, where he lives, and he frequently hosts master-classes and clinics while touring.Beyond performing, Neal loves to teach developing drummers. He maintains a rehearsal studio in New York City, where he lives, and he frequently hosts master-classes and clinics while touring.


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