Rising saxophonist Walter Smith III opens Jazz at Princeton’s spring season on Sunday, March 5
“Walter Smith III is an inspired young saxophonist and composer with a lot to say…” – Joe Lovano
“…consistently emerging as an identifiable voice among the masses.” – All About Jazz
Jazz at Princeton University, helmed by acclaimed saxophonist/composer Rudresh Mahanthappa, presents a diverse and compelling spring 2017 season (March 5-May 13), starting with an appearance by guest artist and saxophonist Walter Smith III. With Princeton’s Small Group I, Smith performs music from his most recent album Still Casual on Sunday, March 5, 8 p.m. in Alexander Hall’s Richardson Auditorium. Admission is $15, $5 students. For tickets call 609-258-9220 or visit tickets.princeton.edu.
Although it may appear Smith is a young gun on the scene at age 33, he is widely recognized as an adept performer, accomplished composer, and inspired educator. He’s performed and/or appeared on over 75 recordings with a wide range of artists including Terence Blanchard, Eric Harland, Roy Haynes, Jason Moran, Terri Lyne Carrington, Joe Lovano, Christian Scott, and Christian McBride. Smith holds degrees from the Berklee College of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. His most recent release, the 2014 Still Casual, features Taylor Eigsti, Matt Stevens, Kendrick Scott, Harish Raghavan, and Ambrose Akinmusire. Originally from Houston, Smith is on the Jazz Studies faculty at the IU Jacobs School of Music.
Other concerts in the series include Steve Lehman’s Sélébéyone (March 28), Small Group 1 and Small Group A (April 12), Small Group A (April 23), Jazz Vocal Collective I and II with Darmon Meader (April 27), Creative Large Ensemble with Billy Childs (May 13).
Jazz at Princeton University serves to promote this uniquely American music as a contemporary and relevant art form. Our goals are to convey the vast musical and social history of jazz, establish a strong theoretical and stylistic foundation with regard to improvisation and composition, and emphasize the development of individual expression and creativity. Offerings of this program include academic course work, performing ensembles, master classes, private study, and independent projects.