ABOUT DAMON SMITH
Double bass, Improviser. Born Damon Jesse Smith on oct. 17th, 1972 in Spokane, WA. Did "freestyle bmx" bicycle riding (a much more dangerous forshadow to "freestyle" music! see http://www.theflatlander.com) from age 13 to 23. Started music in 1991, under the influence of Mike Watt (Firehose & The Minutemen) on fender bass. Lead several punk/art rock combos until 1994. Upon receiving Peter Kowald's landmark lp "Duos;Europa," Damon sold the fender bass and concentrated solely on double bass and free music. Damon's music is rooted in the tradition of "free jazz", with most of his professional experience coming from work with the orchestras and small ensembles of alto saxophonist marco eneidi, however, he is very interested in all the manifestations of free improvised music (jazz rooted or not!) around the world. His live and recorded efforts focus on continuing and expanding the possibilities of the double bass and "instant composition." His instrumental study focuses on classical technique and etudes, while using jazz as reference for pizzicato tone. Damon performs as a soloist and in every imaginable grouping all the way to large orchestra. He also collects recordings, specifically creative music, jazz and double bass music, and feels this is an important influence on his work ("my roots are in my record player"- evan parker).
Watch and listen to Damon and Peter perform together. Click here for a QuickTime version (34.8 MB)
Damon studied music theory/20th century harmony with his mother Bobbie Smith (a classically trained pianist/composer). He had initial double bass lessons with Bill Douglass, next with Lisle Ellis for one year, then classical studies with Kristin Zerneg and jazz with Michael Jones. He also had single lessons/attended workshops with; Barre Phillips, Stefano Scodanibbio, John Lindberg, Mark Dresser, Peter Kowald, William Parker, Ken Filiano, Mike Watt, Dave Holland, Joëlle Léandre, Bertram Turetzky and brass players Bobby Bradford, Butch Morris & Wadada Leo Smith. He continues semi-frequent studies with Prof. Turetzky.
Damon has Collaborated with dancers, actors and poets including Poet Jack Brewer, scoring actor William Whaley's adaptation of Henry Miller's "Tropic of Capricorn" for actor and double bass and the west coast premier of the final collaboration of Merce Cunningham and John Cage; "Ocean," Highly Influenced By modern visual arts, Damon studied painting for a short time with Tom Schultz (see cover of bpa 002) This has resulted in a notation system called "Color Architecture," dedicated to him.
Damon has performed with; Peter Brötzmann, Cecil Taylor, the "Deep Space Posse" (led by Tyrone Hill & Marshall Allen of the Sun Ra Arkestra), Peter Kowald, Glenn Spearman, Frank Gratkowski, Joëlle léandre, Jeb Bishop, John Tchicai, Andrew Voit, Douglas Ewart, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Eugene Chadbourne, Joe Biaza, Biggi Vinkeloe, Elliot Sharp, Wolfgang Fuchs, Luc Houtkamp, Peter Van Bergen, Mike Watt, Chris Cutler, William Hooker, Miya Masaoka, J.A. Deane, J.D. Parran, Sebi Tramantana, Mathew Goodheart, Gino Robair, Tony Bevan, Alan Silva, Boris Hauf, Tim Perkis, Jackson Krall, Eddie Gale, Gianni Gebbia, Fred Frith, Jaap Blonk, Jon Raskin, Phill Gelb, Marco Eneidi, Donald Robinson, J.D. Parran, Oluyemi Thomas, Prince Lasha, Henry Kaiser, John Butcher, Collin Stetson, Hugh, Livingston, Jim O'Rourke and Richard Thompson.
- Audiology II 11 groups in berlin 2002 total music meeting
- ULRICHSBERGER KALEIDOPHON 2003 -Ulrichsburg, Austria
- "Making Waves" San Francisco
- "Dreamin' California",in Palermo,Sicily
- "Midsmumer Music:An Improvisers Forum" San Francisco
- "The East Bay Creative Music Festival" Oakland
- "The Glenn Spearmann Festival" Oakland
- "The Peter Kowald Fesitval:A Future Retrospective" Oakland/San Francisco/Berkeley
- "The Malcom X Jazz Arts Festival" Oakland
- "The Big Sur ExperimentalMusic Festival" Big Sur
- "The SFALT Festival" Oakland/San Francisco
- "Total Music Meeting" 2002 Berlin
- "earshot jazz festival" seattle 2003
- "garden of memory" 1999 and 2004
- bpa 008 "the happymakers" wolfgang fuchs/jacob lindsay/damon smith/serge baghdassarians/boris
- bpa 007 - "zero plus" aurora josephson, phillip wachsmann, jacob lindsay, damon smith, martin blume
- bpa 006 frank gratkowski/jerome bryerton/damon smith
- bpa 005 carol genetti/damon smith + fred lonberg-holm
- dave tucker west coast project
- bpa 004 biggi vinkeloe/mark weaver/damon smith "desert sweets"
- bpa 003 wolfgang fuchs/damon smith/jerome bryerton "three october meetings"
- bpa 002tony bevan/damon smith/scott r. looney "the sale of ticket for money was abolished"
- bpa 001 peter kowald/damon smith "mirrors-broken but no dust"
- aurora josephson/jacob lindsay/damon smith " the unstable qualities of three"
- gianni gebbia/damon smith/ garth powell "people in motion" rastascan records
- the damon smith trio "color archtecture" lImited sediton records
- damon smith solo double bass "contradictory consequences"
- radius- alan lechuza/mark weaver/dave wayne/damon smith "witch of agnesi"
- carlo actis dato - live april 2001 - with wayne horvitz, reuben radding, ken vandermark, damon smith, gino robair
- marco eneidi's american jungle orch. w/w.leo smith,bertram turetzky, glenn spearmann ect. botticelli records
- scott rosenberg "IE (for large ens.)" barely audible
- gebbia/smith/powell +jaap blonk "live in palermo"
- the emergency string quartet spring garden music
- "bass, boats and bevans beer" solo 3" cd artship recordings # 01
- Marco Eneidi/Peter Kowald/Damon Smith/Spirit "ghetto calypso"
- The Spontaneous Music Ensemble tribute feat. John Butcher and Henry Kaiser
- Wolfgang Fuchs/Jerome Bryerton/Damon Smith May 2002 tour lp on qibico
- joëlle léandre/damon smith duo