"One of the finest reed men in the jazz business today."
-Edward blanco, E Jazz News
Melvin Smith, "A soulful sax man and well musically educated award winner" (Chris Spector-Midwest Record Review), is a native of Jacksonville, Florida who began playing saxophone at the age of thirteen.
During his early development, Smith was fortunate to have great musical experiences like performing at the Montreux Jazz Festival and a European tour. Smith attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music, where he earned a Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Professional Music. Smith later received a Master's Degree in Jazz Studies form City University of New York's Queens College.
Since the release of Portrait (2007) his first release as a leader, Smith has looked to push the envelope artistically. John Barron of All About Jazz writes about Portrait " Smith is able to successfully blur the lines between the tradition of the spiritual and the inventiveness of jazz; demonstrating the obvious connections missing from the sounds of so many contemporary improvisers."
Melvin has a total of 4 projects released under his name as a leader. The first being Portrait (2007), I Surrender All (2008), Evidence (2010), and Time Will Tell (2014).
Over the last 25 years, Smith has had the pleasure of working with the following artist to name a few: Oleta Adams, Eddie “E.J.” Allen, Cecil Bridgewater, Kim Burrell, Jonathan Butler, Tye Tribbett, Byron Cage, Doug Carn, Norman Connors, Hubert Eaves III , Onaje Allen Gumbs, Fred Hammond, Roy Hargrove, Darwin Hobbs, Israel Houghton, Leon Lacey's "Orchestrated", Greg “Organ Monk” Lewis, Donnie McClurkin, Martha Munizzi, Jeb Patton, Charli Persip, Ben Vereen, Kirk Whalum, Natalie Wilson, and Be Be Winans.
A TIME FOR CHANGE
In 2015, Smith had spent twenty years delivering his brand of music to the New York scene. Smith moved back to Jacksonville to continue developing his sound . Melvin mixes jazz, funk, blues, world, gospel, and hip hop to perfection in his own unique blend. Whether domestically or abroad, if you get an opportunity to catch a Melvin Smith performance, it shouldn't be missed.