Reviews of many styles of music with a focus on Jazz, World Music and Fusion Artists From Around the World
Plus Some Cool Extras – Interviews, Resources, Articles and General Musings
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I like many different styles of music and have a diverse background of experience performing these many different styles as well. This blog is my opportunity to discuss my witty, informative and insightful ideas about their current trends while providing my dual perspective as a trained ethnomusicologist (I know that’s hard to say) and performer.
I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a critic, but more of an audio observer with an opinion. I have my likes and dislikes but I completely respect people’s musical choices. My philosophy is: If it resonates with you, than by all means listen to your heart’s content. I am big on context and understanding historical and cultural connections but I completely understand the artist’s need to experiment without thinking so much. Besides, if you’re in your head too much you will lose the emotional connection and essentially the vibe is gone.
Music is personal and therefore everyone will connect with an artist or song on their own terms. This blog is my personal experience of artists who cross my path.
Dr. William E. Smith (W.E.S.) is an active musician, producer, composer, author and educator who has released four albums with his group, The W.E.S. Group, and has produced and recorded music for many notable artists. He is a published author (Hip Hop as Performance and Ritual and How to Be an MC – CLS Publications,) and is the online ethnomusicology program coordinator at North Carolina Central University. He also teaches classes at Howard University. Prior to that, he was an assistant professor of music and the jazz ensemble director at American University in Washington, DC.
He has recorded and performed with a number of musicians in a variety of genres: Gospel Artists: Hezekiah Walker and Fred Hammond, Jazz Artists: Donald Byrd, James Moody, Kenny Burrell, Gary Thomas, Antonio Hart, Antoine Rooney, Wynton Marsalis, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Mike Phillips, Cynda Williams, and Malcolm Jamal Warner, Ethiopian Artists: Wayna, Aster Aweke, Gigi. Dr. Smith has also opened for: DMC from Run DMC, McCoy Tyner, Ravi Coltrane, Jon Henricks, Cassandra Wilson.
Aside from performing at many jazz festivals and events in Anguilla, Bonaire, St. Lucia, California, New York, United Kingdom, Morocco, India, and South Africa, Dr. Smith is an avid composer. He has written music for TV and film and has composed music for multimedia performances such as theater performances and fashion shows.