A special interview with Richard Smith in London. Also about the new CD Heart of the Emigrants with Francesco Buzzurro. 

USC professor and jazz recording artist Richard Smith joins Chris Standring on this episode of The Inside Track. Richard brings in ace guitarist Stig Mathisen to accompany him.

By Scott Wolf

Departing slightly from the nylon string world to explore contemporary styles with guitarist Richard Smith (although you will hear some nylon string playing from Italian Francesco Buzzurro on their collaborative album). When I met Richard, he was the department chair of the Studio/Jazz Guitar department at USC, and along with USC’s fairly new Popular Music program, Smith has since refocused his teaching duties from jazz to emphasize more contemporary and popular music styles. We will reap the benefits of that popular music knowledge here today, as he will give us some great songwriting advice. Smith’s forte is in smooth jazz and jazz fusion and he utilizes this genre to explore a great variety of styles, his latest being Argentine tango with a healthy dose of electronica. You’ll also hear him discuss the bad rap given to smooth jazz, along with some incredibly poignant suggestions for those determined to pursue a career in music.

The Color of Jazz

The Color of Jazz Internet TV Show goes to Amsterdam to talk with Richard Smith and Tico Pierhagen about their collaborations on the cd TANGOS

Interview by Shannon West

Guitarist, composer, sideman, producer, teacher, mentor and one of the most charismatic performers in Smooth Jazz - that just begins to describe Richard Smith. His recording career spans over 15 years and his academic accomplishments are even more impressive. He is on the faculty of the Thornton School at the University of Southern California, one of the nation‘s most prestigious music schools. He became the youngest department chairman and later was the youngest guitarist in the school's history to make the rank of Professor. Smith spent several years touring and recording with Richard Elliot while releasing a series of solo CDs and recording and touring with smooth jazz luminaries like Peter White, Kirk Whalum, Guitars and Saxes, Steve Reid, Dan Siegel, and Kenny G. His latest release, SOuLIDIFIED, features the top five smooth jazz hit "Sing A Song" and his current single "Whatz Up" is getting airplay nationwide. 

The ongoing themes of this conversation were passion and collaboration: the joy of working with others, sharing skills and supporting creative growth. This is an artist who will inspire you to nurture and chase your own dreams with intensity and commitment too.