Photograph copyright Teresa Almeida.
Born, Dublin 1965; trumpet, flugelhorn.
One mp3 Ian Smith audio sample is available on this site.
Ian Smith has been playing since he was fifteen. He has studied with Joe Csibi
(principal trumpet in the Irish National Symphony Orchestra) and Bobby Shew
(Buddy Rich, Horace Silver bands) as well as learning harmony from Trevor
England (ex-Berklee). As a bass he was a Vocal Scholar of the College of
Music and a Choral Scholar of Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin. There is a strong tradition
of trumpet playing in Smith's family, his grandfather Chick Smith played in many British
dance bands from the 1930s onwards and his cousin Jimmie Deuchar was at the forefront of
British bop as well as playing in the Clarke/Boland Big Band.
During the mid-80s while in Trinity College, Dublin, he arranged music
for and played on many recording sessions, including jingles for the Bank
of Ireland, a TV documentary score and singles for local rock bands. He
has also composed and performed for theatrical productions including a version
of Joyce's Nighttown scene from Ulysses at the Project theatre,
He has guested on albums by highly established Irish songwriters like Luka Bloom and Mick Hanley.
He joined post-punk band the Real Wild West in the late 80s and gigged frequently with them for
three years, including playing the Eurorock Festival '87 in Frankfurt, the Mean Fiddler in London
and supporting Echo and the Bunnymen and the Pogues in Ireland. The Real Wild West single
was produced by Pogues Shane MacGowan and Philip Chevron; the album was produced by John Langford
of The Mekons.
Ian Smith appeared at the Cork International Jazz Festival in 1988 and 1989, playing a set
with saxophonist Richie Cole in '89. He has been involved in duo and trio gigs with guitarist
Louis Stewart. He moved over to London in 1990 and in May '91 co-founded the group Forest
which quickly became established on the London freeform scene. He was a sometime member of
the Screech Owls, a rock band which featured former Virgin Prune Dik Evans, which performed
at the Mean Fiddler.
Since 1992 he has been playing improvised music and has performed with
Evan Parker, John Stevens,
Maggie Nicols, Lol Coxhill, Steve Beresford and
Eddie Prévost among others. His own trio, Trian, has played at the 1993 London Experimental Music Festival and
the 1992 Soho Jazz Festival. He also participated in a reformation of Cornelius Cardew's Scratch
Orchestra in the ICA in 1994. He has collaborated with composer Roger Doyle, winner of the
Bourges International Elecro-Acoustic Music Competition 1997, and he has been featured on two
instrumental tracks by the hip hop band Marxman. He toured the UK
with Butch Morris' London Skyscraper conduction project in November 1997.
Current projects include:
- The Temporary Brass Trio - with Gail Brand (trombone) and Oren Marshall (tuba)
- Fanatic Hearts - an electric band with Dave Tucker (guitar), Alex Ward (alto sax/guitar), Pat Thomas, Knut Auferman (live sampling and processing), Simon Fell (electric bass) and Tony Marsh (drums) had its first gig in December 2000.
- London Improvisers Orchestra
- The Big Top - organised with Oren Marshall and Dean Speedwell to actively encourage ad hoc groupings of musicians from a myriad of backgrounds to come together, play and listen. The first meeting was in November 2000 and involved improvisors Maggie Nichols, Lol Coxhill, Alan Tomlinson, Steve Beresford and Simon Fell among others.
- 1992, Alot to answer for, SLAMCD 402. One track on compilation CD.
- 1996, Tryst, Red Toucan RT 9311.
- 1997, Spoombung, Thoofa 1. Two tracks on Kev Hopper CD.
- 1999, Proceedings, Emanem 4201. London Improvisers Orchestra.
- 1999, Spectral soprano, Emanem 4204. One track by London Improvisers Orchestra on this Lol Coxhill CD.
- 1999, Whispering foils, Duophonic Super 45's DS45-CD6. Kev Hopper.
- 2000, The hearing continues..., Emanem 4203. London Improvisers Orchestra.
- 2000, Daybreak, Emanem 4059.
- 2000, 25th NWM, Ninth World Music NWM0 25 CD. One track on compilation CD.
- 2001, Freedom of the city 2001: large groups, Emanem 4206. London Improvisers Orchestra.
- 2001, Freedom of the city 2001: small groups, Emanem 4205.
- 2001, Out to launch, Emanem 4086. Lol Coxhill and the Unlaunched Orchestra.
- 2002, Freedom of the city 2002: small groups, Emanem 4210.
- 2002, Freedom of the city 2002, Emanem 4090. London Improvisers Orchestra.
- 2003, Responses, reproduction & reality: freedom of the city 2003-4, Emanem 4110. London Improvisers Orchestra.
- 2003, K3, BF58. Ian Smith/Simon H. Fell/Harris Eisenstadt Quartet.
- 2003/2007, Improvisations for George Riste, psi 08.06. London Improvisers Orchestra.
- 2005, Freedom of the city 2005, Emanem 4216. In London Improvisers Orchestra.
- 2007, Separately & together, Emanem 4219. London Improvisers Orchestra/Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra.
- 2010, Mathilde 253, SLAMCD 528. Charles Hayward/Han-earl Park/Ian Smith + Lol Coxhill.
- 2010, Lio Leo Leon, psi 11.04. London Improvisers Orchestra.
- 2011, HMS concert, Kukuruku Recordings. London Improvisers Orchestra.
- 2012, Alter egos, Creative Sources cs 226 CD. Watt.