Internationally renowned clarinetist, composer, educator and musical experimentalist Bill Smith died last weekend at the age of 93. A varied selection of his music will be heard on today’s episode of Jazz Northwest. Smith came to Seattle in 1966 to start The Contemporary Group, an experimental music ensemble which he co-led with trombonist Stuart Dempster for many years.
Both as a jazz clarinetist Bill Smith and as concert artist William O. Smith, Smith was always experimenting with new sounds from the clarinet and with electronic augmentation. He was recipient of numerous awards for composition including the Prix de Paris and Prix de Rome, and he maintained a Summer residence in Rome where he devoted himself to composing. He also led a jazz trio for an extended period at The Merchant's Cafe in Seattle.