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Wadada Leo Smith

tr, *1941 US, Leland, Mississippi
Musician / Composer of Jazz
A.k.a. Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith

Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith is a trumpet-player, multi-instrumentalist, composer and improviser. He was born December 18, 1941, in Leland, Mississippi. His early musical life began in the high school concert and marching bands where he played drums, mellophone and French horn before he settled on the trumpet. At the age of thirteen, he became immersed within the Delta Blues and Improvisation music traditions. He received his formal musical education with his father, the U.S. Military band program (1963), Sherwood School of Music (1967-69), and Wesleyan University (1975-76) where he studied ethnomusicology. He has taught at the University of New Haven 1975-76, the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, NY. 1975-78, and Bard College 1987-93. He is currently a professor of Music at the California Institute of the Arts, and is the director of the MFA program in African American Improvisation. He is a member of ASCAP and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). He has received numerous awards as a composer and musician. In the mid eighties, he became Rastafarian and began using the name Wadada. He has composed music for solo, ensemble, classical and creative orchestra and stage works. His compositions have been performed by his own Nda-Kulture ensemble as well as numerous other contemporary music ensembles. He has performed with almost every important artist in the creative improvised music scene. He is a co-founder of the Creative Construction Company with Leroy Jenkins and Anthony Braxton, and the founder of the New Dalta Ahkri which includes Henry Threadgill, Anthony Davis and Oliver Lake. His current group is the Golden Quartet. The original quartet featured Jack DeJohnette, Anthony Davis and Malachi Favors. The New Golden Gate Quartet consists of Smith, Vijay Iyer on piano, John Lindberg on bass and Ronald Shannon Jackson on drums.

  • Trumpet
  • Flugelhorn
  • Flute
  • Vocals
  • Bass guitar
  • Jazz
  • Classical
  • Electronic
Popular Tracks   
Central Park at Sunset on Central Park‘s Mosaics of Reservoir, Lake, Paths and Gardens by Wadada Leo Smith & Amina Claudine Myers
Conservatory Gardens on Central Park‘s Mosaics of Reservoir, Lake, Paths and Gardens by Wadada Leo Smith & Amina Claudine Myers
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir on Central Park‘s Mosaics of Reservoir, Lake, Paths and Gardens by Wadada Leo Smith & Amina Claudine Myers
Lebroba on Lebroba by Andrew Cyrille, Wadada Leo Smith & Bill Frisell
The Harlem Meer on Central Park‘s Mosaics of Reservoir, Lake, Paths and Gardens by Wadada Leo Smith & Amina Claudine Myers
Albert Ayler, a meditation in light on Central Park‘s Mosaics of Reservoir, Lake, Paths and Gardens by Wadada Leo Smith & Amina Claudine Myers
Imagine, a mosaic for John Lennon on Central Park‘s Mosaics of Reservoir, Lake, Paths and Gardens by Wadada Leo Smith & Amina Claudine Myers
Uprising on The Blue Mountain's Sun Drummer by Wadada Leo Smith & Ed Blackwell
Worried Woman on Lebroba by Andrew Cyrille, Wadada Leo Smith & Bill Frisell
Ét skridt og alt er forandret on Dét, som ikke kan kaldes tilbage by Søren Nørbo, Wadada Leo Smith & Kresten Osgood

Track list and 30sec audio provided by

Band Members

Title Artist Year Type
Rosa Parks: Pure Love.Wadada Leo Smith2019Album
Hackney RoadSpring Heel Jack And Wadada Leo Smith With Pat Thomas And Steve Noble2018Album
Burning MeditationWadada Leo Smith, Sabu Toyozumi2018Album
Solo: Reflections And Meditations On MonkWadada Leo Smith2017Album
NajwaWadada Leo Smith2017Album
AspirationWadada Leo Smith, Natsuki Tamura, Satoko Fujii, Ikue Mori2017Album
A Cosmic Rhythm With Each StrokeVijay Iyer / Wadada Leo Smith2016Album
NessunoPauline Oliveros, Roscoe Mitchell, John Tilbury, Wadada Leo Smith2016Album
Ocean Of StormsTania Chen \ Henry Kaiser \ Wadada Leo Smith \ William Winant2016Album
America's National ParksWadada Leo Smith2016Album
Celestial WeatherWadada Leo Smith & John Lindberg2015Album
Red Chrysanthemums Solos 1977Wadada Leo Smith2015Album
The Great Lakes SuitesWadada Leo Smith2014Album
The StoneWadada Leo Smith & Bill Laswell2014Single
Sonic RiversWadada Leo Smith2014Album
The NileWadada Leo Smith / Hardedge2014Album
Red HillWadada Leo Smith, Jamie Saft, Joe Morris, Balázs Pándi2014Album
June 6th-2013Wadada Leo Smith & Eco D'Alberi2014Album
Taif: Prayer in the Garden of HijazWadada Leo Smith2014Single
Bishopsgate ConcertWadada Leo Smith / John Tilbury2014Album
Occupy The WorldWadada Leo Smith & TUMO2013Album
Twine ForestAngelica Sanchez / Wadada Leo Smith2013Album
AncestorsWadada Leo Smith & Louis Moholo2012Album
Screaming In Daytime (Makes Men Forget)Zen Widow Featuring Wadada Leo Smith2012Album
Ten Freedom SummersWadada Leo Smith2012Album
The Blue Mountain's Sun DrummerWadada Leo Smith And Ed Blackwell2010Album
Spiritual DimensionsWadada Leo Smith2009Album
AmericaWadada Leo Smith * Jack DeJohnette2009Album
Abbey Road QuartetWadada Leo Smith2009Album
Brooklyn DuosJohn Coxon / Wadada Leo Smith2007Album
Wisdom In TimeWadada Leo Smith – Günter Sommer2007Album
CompassionWadada Leo Smith & Adam Rudolph2006Album
SnakishWadada Leo Smith / Walter Quintus / Katya Quintus / Miroslav Tadić / Mark Nauseef2005Album
UpriverHenry Kaiser & Wadada Leo Smith : Yo Miles!2005Album
Saturn, Conjunct The Grand Canyon In A Sweet EmbraceWadada Leo Smith & Anthony Braxton2004Album
Lake BiwaWadada Leo Smith2004Album
Kabell Years 1971-1979Wadada Leo Smith2004Compil.
50⁸Wadada Leo Smith, Susie Ibarra, John Zorn2004Album
Organic ResonanceWadada Leo Smith - Anthony Braxton2003Album
Sky GardenHenry Kaiser & Wadada Leo Smith : Yo Miles!2003Album
Luminous Axis (Caravans Of Winter And Summer)Wadada Leo Smith2002Album
Red Sulphur SkyWadada Leo Smith2001Album
Dreams And SecretsWadada Leo Smith / Thomas Mapfumo And The Blacks Unlimited2000Album
Grand Oak Trees At Dawn / String Quartet No. 1 / String Quartet No. 3 "Black Church" / BardsdaleWadada Leo Smith / Southwest Chamber Music2000Album
ReflectativityWadada Leo Smith2000Album
Light Upon LightWadada Leo Smith1999Album
Dreaming With SerpentsGustavo Aguilar, Wadada Leo Smith, Todd Sickafoose, John Bergamo1999Album
Interludes Of Breath And SubstanceMatthew Goodheart With Wadada Leo Smith1999Album
Condor, Autumn WindWadada Leo Smith and Harumi Makino Smith1998Album
Yo Miles!Henry Kaiser & Wadada Leo Smith1998Album
Touch The Earth - Break The ShellsPeter Kowald / Wadada Leo Smith / Günter Sommer1997Compil.
PrataksisWadada Leo Smith / Vinny Golia / Bertram Turetzky1997Album
Tao-NjiaWadada Leo Smith1996Album
Kulture JazzWadada Leo Smith1993Album
Cosmos Has SpiritWadada Leo Smith / Sabu Toyozumi1992Album
Procession Of The Great AncestryWadada Leo Smith1989Album
Human RightsWadada Leo Smith1986Album
RastafariWadada Leo Smith With The Bill Smith Ensemble1983Album
If You Want The Kernels You Have To Break The ShellsPeter Kowald / Wadada Leo Smith / Günter Sommer1983Album
Go In NumbersWadada Leo Smith & New Dalta Ahkri1982Album
Touch The EarthWadada Leo Smith, Peter Kowald, Günter Sommer1980Album
Divine LoveWadada Leo Smith1979Album
Solo Music AhkreanventionWadada Leo Smith1979Album
Spirit CatcherWadada Leo Smith1979Album
ClarityMichael Gregory Jackson, Oliver Lake, Wadada Leo Smith, David Murray1977Album
The HauntBobby Naughton, Wadada Leo Smith, Perry Robinson1976Album
Creative Improvisation EnsembleMarion Brown, Wadada Leo Smith1975Album
SilenceAnthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins, Wadada Leo Smith1974Album
Creative Music - 1 (Six Solo Improvisations)Wadada Leo Smith1971Album
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