Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Smith, Harrison

Smith, Harrison, tenor, soprano and alto saxophones, bass clarinet, flute, composer, teacher; b. Murton, County Durham, England, 24 August 1946. His father is Harrison Smith and his mother is mother Irene Walker.

Smith had saxophone lessons from the age of 13, and clarinet from the age of 14 years. First playing experience with Herrington Colliery Band and later with various dance bands and rock/soul groups in the North East of England. Smith became interested in jazz and started to play with local groups lead by Alex Hand and Alan Glen.  In  1973 he attended a jazz course at Barry Summer School (Wales) and some months later was asked by one of the tutors, Barry Guy, to do a national tour with the "London Jazz Composers Orchestra". The same year he moved to London.  In London he joined "Landscape" (John Walters) and gained valuable musical experience by playing with likes of Mike Osbourne, Louis Moholo, Evan Parker etc.  Around this time he also took some lessons from Alan Wakeham 1974-76. Over the next few years he worked with "Maranatha" (Dave Defries), "Sun Sum" (Jim Dvorak), "Lysis" (Rodger Dea n) with Kenny Wheeler, the "Michael Garrick Sextet", "Prana" (Keith Bailey) with Chris McGregor and Kent Carter, a duo with Keith Bailey, "Jazz Africa" (Julian Bahula), and "Dhyana" (Jim Dvorak).

In 1983 he joined the South African inspired group "District Six" which became very popular both in the U.K. and Europe, playing festivals and touring in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Czech Republic etc, as well as Britain. Harrison played with District Six for some 8 years. In 1988 the "Free Jazz Quartet" was formed with Eddie Prevost, Paul Rutherford and Tony Moore, which toured Spain and the U.K. From 1992 - 1998 Smith worked in a varied mix of projects including, "Timshell" (David Mowat), "What Ever Next" (Danny Thompson and Richard Thompson), Joe Gallivan Trio, Louis Moholo Group, a duo with Eddie Prevost, co-led "Ala-Ka-Zam" with Jim Dvorak, "Continuum" a classical orientated ensemble,  the Frances Knight Group, solo performances and work with dancers and poets.

Harrison put his own band together in 1998, the "Harrison Smith Quartet" with Liam Noble, piano, Jeremy Brown, bass and Winston Clifford on drums. At present he is a member of the "London Improvisers` Orchestra" and the "Dill Katz Quartet." He has taught in workshops in Ingolstadt (Germany), Vercelli (Italy) and the Guildhall of Music (London) and in community based projects in the U.K., as well as many individuals.

He's married to Ulrike Preuss (1986) with two stepchildren Daniel and Ilanga.

Akuzwakale (1984); Leave My Name At The Door (1985); To Be Free (1987); Imgoma Yabantwana (1989); Premonitions (Free Jazz Quartet) (1989); Outside Inside (1998); Slamfest (1999); London Improvisers Orchestra: Proceedings (1999), The Hearing Continues (2000), Freedom of the City 2001 (2001)

Radio and television broadcasts:
For the B.B.C.: London Jazz Composers Orchestra (Barry Guy), Maranatha  (Dave Defries), Sun Sum  (Jim Dvorak), Keith Bailey Harrison Smith Duo, Prana (Keith Bailey), Lysis (Rodger Dean), Dyanha (Jim Dvorak), District Six (Brian Abrahams), Free Jazz Quartet, London Improvisers Orchestra

Jazz Live  (Austria)
Impro Jazz (France)
Cadence  (U.S.A.) not in print yet

A.A.J.  (U.S.A.) 
A.A.J. (Italy) 
Jazz Services (U.K.)

Contact information: 

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