Cecilia Smith
Photo of Cecilia Smith
Cecilia Smith Small Ensembles
Mary Lou Williams Resurgence Project
Dark Triumph
Crossing Bridges


2001 - 2006

In the Fall of 2005, Cecilia will make her first trip to Africa! She and pianist Amina Claudine Myers will be playing duets during the STANBEC BANK GHANA JAZZ FESTIVAL in Accra, Ghana.

Because of Cecilia work with Mary Lou Williams, Cecilia has also been selected by Max Roach's family to archive the works of Jazz Master Max Roach. This work will begin in the spring of 2006.

The Mary Lou Williams Resurgence Project will be celebrating the life of MARY LOU WILLIAMS this year and through 2006. Cecilia will be an Artist-in-Residence at Berklee College of Music where the music of Mary Lou Williams will be the focus.

May 20, 2005 - The MARY LOU WILLIAMS RESURGENCE BIG BAND with special guest AMINA CLAUDINE MEYERS - will celebrate Ms. Williams birthday and the 10th Anniversary of the MARY LOU WILLIAMS WOMEN IN JAZZ FESTIVAL AT THE JOHN F. KENNEDY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS in Washington D.C. - The World Renowned - MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY CHOIR will also perform some of Ms. Williams rarely heard choral works.

Cecilia Smith has been granted a commission through an anonymous benefactor. The piece DARK TRIUMPH written, for large ensemble including a string section, the BOYS'CHOIR OF HARLEM, vocalist ELON ROBIN DIXON and Spoken Word. This project was recorded at RIGHT TRACK STUDIO 509A on New York City. The commission will result in 2 CD recording. This musical work traces the life of an African American Senior citizen Victoria L. Smith who has led an extremely unusual life of service. The work can best be compared to the work that was written by American composer - Aaron Copeland - who wrote a piece called A LINCOLN PORTRAIT - which uses orchestration and narration to highlight Lincoln's life. The work that Cecilia Smith has composed, utilized both Jazz and Classical composing devises as well as some sampled sounds generated through keyboard. This recording will be released for educational institution - Fall o f 2005. The commercial release is scheduled for Feb. 2006.

VIBES DUOS - Began with Japanese vibest Yoichi in a collaboration that was recorded in Paris and released in Japan in the late '90's.


The Cecilia Smith Jay Hoggard Quintet - modeled after the 1970's duo vibe ensemble Double Image (Dave Friedman and Dave Samuels). This quintet combines the efforts of two Vibraphonists as well as Vibraphone and Marimba in a duo mallet setting plus rhythm section. The program includes works made famous by vibest Milt Jackson and Lionel Hampton. Compositions by Mary Lou Williams Clifford Brown and original compositions by Smith and Hoggard were also performed. Performance at the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival is also available for down load at www.cliffordbrownjazzfest.com. Cecilia will continues the Vibes Duo project with a new vibest in the spring of 2005.

May 2004 - Cecilia was commissioned by the Mary Lou Williams Foundation to edit and adapt the Mary Lou Williams piece GHOST OF LOVE. Cecilia arrangement of THE GLORIA was played by the LINCOLN CENTER BIG BAND at their Music Of Mary Lou Williams concert at Alice Tully Hall May 14, and 15th, 2004.

March 2004 - Cecilia Smith Quartet with Special Guest JENNIFER HOLIDAY ( R&B & Gospel vocalist most noted for the her work in the original Broadway hit Dream Girls) and the Abyssinian Baptist Church Gospel Choir - New York, NY.

THE CECILIA SMITH QUINTET - featuring vocalist - ELON ROBIN DIXON continues to do performances throughout the US.


Cecilia has been exploring the compositional works OF MARY LOU WILLIAMS. She most recently appeared at the JOHN F. KENNEDY CENTER for the PERFORMING ARTS where she both lectured and performed an all MARY LOU WILLIAMS program of music. She also premiered 2 works of MARY LOU WILLIAMS - TELL ME HOW LONG THE TRAINS BEEN GONE and PO-TA- BE A BOOGIE (Suppose to be a Boogie). Ms. Smith was commissioned to explore the original music manuscripts of MARY LOU WILLIAMS and edit works that Mary Lou Williams had never performed. These new works 71 and DIZZY will be premiered at NEW ENGLAND CONSERVATORY in the SPRING of 2003.. Cecilia has created a Multi-Media Presentation on the works of the understated Mary Lou Williams. Work has been presented in New York, Boston and Washington D.C. She has also began creating musical pieces based on the compositional concepts of MARY LOU WILLIAMS. The first piece - SKETCH 1 - Truth Be Told - For MARY LOU WILLIAMS was premiered in Boston and later in Connecticut and Washington D.C.

Cecilia is currently working with poet TRACIE MORRIS in a collaborative effort called NEW WORKS UNSPOKEN AND SPOKEN. This new work unites
Cecilia's unique composing style with Tracie Morris's unique poetry style.

YEYE (SPIRIT) with choreographer and GUGENHEIM FELLOW Gabri Christa. Cecilia created improvisational music around the midi compositions for this work. Guitarist - Vernon Reed, composed the compositions.

Fall 2000

Cecilia has received a MEET THE COMPOSER GRANT that allowed her to perform in a number of Queens Public Libraries.

This grant allowed me to perform my new work for a host of Mid Atlantic Arts Presenters.

Currently Ms. Smith is working on two CD projects.

The first project is a "straight ahead" music project entitled "NEW THOUGHTS ON TRADITION". This project involves the rearrangement of a number of American standard compositions. Smith will use exciting musical processes as arrangement devices to create new compositions while maintaining original themes.

Another project is entitled, "!GROOVE!"  Smith will take a number of original compositions that reflect the popular music culture of today and using R&B and hip-hop grooves, along with several world music and rock rhythms, will compose new work for presentation. It is in the tradition of the jazz artist that popular music be rearranged with harmonic, rhythmic as well as performance complexities that the jazz musician has to offer. These devices give new meaning to the music of today. Ms. Smith has also included a number of today's popular music compositions that round out this musical plan.


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