Take Five With Jonathan Smith


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Meet Jonathan Smith: Portland, Oregon jazz guitarist, playing in the stylistic tradition of Grant Green.

Instrument(s): Guitar.

Teachers and/or influences? Dan Balmer, Bruce Forman, and many other great musicians I've had the good fortune to spend time with. A few special influences are: Ingrid Jensen, Benny Green, Randy Porter, Quincy Davis, and Bucky Pizzarelli.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I have been passionate about music since childhood. I guess I always wanted to be a musician.

Your sound and approach to music: I love jazz because it is spontaneous and improvised. My approach is to continue learning and playing with other musicians. Composing music is still a fairly new facet of my musicianship, and I draw upon many inspirations when creating a tune.

Your teaching approach: It's really all about how much you practice.

Your dream band: There are so many musicians I'd love to play with. I am happy to play with many of the great players in Portland on a regular basis. I think my latest dream band is the Clayton Brothers; all I can say is wow!

Road story: Your best or worst experience: Maybe this is pertinent: after just having discussed the growing topic of bed bugs, mid-solo I glanced down at the stage floor and saw what I thought was, or very well might have been, a bed bug scurrying across. So I went for it.

Favorite venue: Ch'Boogie Jazz Club in Newport, on the Oregon Coast. This is a great venue, with friendly staff, nice atmosphere and a fantastic listening audience. Oh yeahthe food is amazing, too.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why? I really like "Blues for Mandy," it gets great feedback from listeners. I'm told it reminds people of theme from Pink Panther.

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Take Five With Jonathan Smith

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