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Genre: Jazz & Blues
Price: Under $50,000
Availability: Generally Availability
Demographics: 35-50,50 +
The American jazz and funk musician Lonnie Liston Smith, Jr., was born in 1940. Smith’s father was a gospel musician and member of the group the Harmonizing Four, so it was no surprise that young Lonnie would follow in his footsteps and also pursue a career as a musician. As a young child, Smith studied trumpet, tuba, and piano, eventually going on to study music at Morgan State University and graduating with a B.S. in Music Education.
While still in college, Lonnie Liston Smith became known for his performances in the Baltimore area, often providing backing vocals to such notable performers as Ethel Ennis and Betty Carter. After graduation, Smith moved to New York City to join Betty Carter’s band as a full-time gig, which he did for a year. After leaving, Lonnie joined the Jazz Messengers, and then began performing with Pharoah Sanders, performing on his albums: Karma (1969), Impulse (1970), and Thembi (1971.)
Lonnie Liston Smith continued to perform in collaboration with a number of different artists throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, including Gato Barbieri and Miles Davis, but he is today best known for his group Lonnie Liston Smith and the Cosmic Echoes. The Cosmic Echoes’ song “Expansions” can be heard on the video game Driver: Parallel Lines, and the song “A Chance for Peace” is featured in the game Grand Theft Auto 4. Lonnie Liston Smith continues to perform and record; he most recently appeared at the Glastonbury Festival in 2009.
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