Born in Edinburgh in 1967, Tommy Smith won best soloist and best group titles at Edinburgh International Jazz Festival, aged 14, and recorded his 1st album at 15. After studying at Berklee College of Music he joined Gary Burton’s group, touring worldwide and recording the Whiz Kids album on ECM Records.
He signed to Blue Note Records in 1989, recorded 4 albums then signed with Linn Records for 7 more releases, and having formed his own record company in 2000, Spartacus, has now released twenty-five solo albums. He has presented television and radio programmes for the BBC and Channel Four and has received awards and honours including a BBC Heart of Jazz award, Best Woodwind at the inaugural Scottish Jazz Awards (2008), the Scottish Jazz Expo Award (2009), honorary doctorates from Heriot-Watt and Glasgow Caledonian universities, and a distinguished professorship from the Royal Academy of Music & Drama.
His many compositions include four saxophone concertos, two sonatas, the symphonic work Edinburgh for Edinburgh Youth Orchestra, Hiroshima for the Orchestra of St. John’s Smith Square, The Morning of the Imminent for Dame Cleo Laine and Sir John Dankworth, the Glasgow Jazz Festival commission Beasts of Scotland, and a series of large scale works, including Planet Wave, Beauty and the Beast, Torah and the World of the Gods.