Born Aug 21, 1954 in Los
At age nine, in 1963, Smith began studying the
instrument in earnest with local teacher Bill Flanagan,
who played in big bands in the swing era. Smith's early
inspiration at this time was drawn from the great drumming stars
of the big bands such as Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Louie
Bellson and Kenny Clarke, among others.
performed in the usual school band program and garage bands
while in his teens, but also began to broaden his performing
experience by playing in a professional Brockton concert band
and even the big band at the local college, Bridgewater
State.After high school, Smith began studying music at the famed
Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1972. There he received
valuable instruction from such renowned teachers as Gary
Chaffee and Alan Dawson. His drumming influences at
this time came to include such notables as Tony Williams,
Billy Cobham, Lenny White and Steve Gadd.
was the drummers for the band Journey and also performed with
Mike Mainieri's group Steps Ahead, Michael
Brecker, Mike Stern, Ahmad Jamal, Jeff Berlin, Michael Manring,
Stanley Clarke, Randy Brecker and the Buddy Rich Big Band.
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