Dwayne "Smitty" Smith

About Dwayne "Smitty" Smith

A highly regarded and sought-after jazz and R&B session bassist, Dwayne "Smitty" Smith is also a solo artist in his own right, known for his deep rhythmic groove and crossover sound. A native of the Washington, D.C. area, Smith initially started out on drums around age 13. Switching to bass, he gigged regularly with his band throughout much of his teens. After high school, he spent four years in the Air Force, playing and working as the musical director of the Tops in Blue ensemble. Upon his discharge he relocated to Los Angeles, where he found work recording and touring with Anita Baker, appearing on her Grammy Award-winning 1986 album, Rapture. From there, he embarked on a lucrative freelance career, working with a long list of artists including Gerald Albright, Natalie Cole, Everette Harp, Will Downing, Tom Scott, Lee Ritenour, James Ingram, and many more. In 1995, he earned a gold record for co-writing the song "Without a Doubt" on Boney James' Seduction album. He has also performed as a member of the crossover ensembles Birds of a Feather and Rhythm Logic. Smith has expanded his outreach over the years, acting as musical director for the Starlight Jazz Serenade benefit concert, which supported Hands for Hope, a nonprofit organization working to offer free after-school programs for at-risk youth. As a solo performer, Smith debuted with This Is Me in 2005. Featured on the album were contributions from Kirk Whalum as well as Smith's longtime bandmates drummer Oscar Seaton and guitarist Darrell Crooks. Recordings with Najee, Oli Silk, Ledisi, and others followed, before Smith returned to his solo work with 2012's Stories. He then joined Will Downing for several albums, including 2015's Chocolate Drops and 2016's Black Pearls. ~ Matt Collar

Washington, D.C.
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