Dr. J. B. Smith is Emeritus Professor of Music and the former Coordinator of Percussion Studies in the School of Music at Arizona State University who currently resides in Melbourne, Australia. He is internationally recognized as a performer, composer, educator and conductor.
He was director of the ASU Contemporary Percussion Ensemble that was featured in performances at the 1991, 2002 ad 2006 Percussive Arts Society International Conventions. As a member of the Desert's Edge Clarinet-Percussion Duo with Dr. Robert Spring, Dr. Smith performed at the Music Educator's National Conference in 1994 and the 1992, 1995, 2002, 2004 and 2013 Clarinet Fest International Conferences. The duo has given concerts throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He served as principal percussionist with Ensemble 21, a contemporary music group under the direction of Arthur Weisberg, and as principal percussionist with The Daniel Lentz Group which performed at the Interlink Festival in Los Angeles, the Bang on a Can Festival in New York and the Festival Musica Visual in Lanzarote, Canary Islands. He has also recorded and performed with the internationally acclaimed Summit Brass and The Phoenix Symphony. He has recorded for Koch, Summit, Centaur, Rhizome Sketch, Fontec, Leo, Canyon Records, Potenza and Whole>Sum Productions. His CDs Apparitions for Percussion, First Reflections and At the Desert's Edge are available from jbmithmusic.com. Percussion Solo 2011 and LIVE Chamber Music with Percussion are available from TresonaMultimedia.com.
He received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baylor University where he studied with Dr. Larry Vanlandingham, his Master of Music in Percussion Performance and Literature degree from the University of Illinois where he studied with Prof. Thomas Siwe and his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas where he studied with Dr. Robert Schietroma. Previously, Dr. Smith was on the music faculties of Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas and Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. He has written articles for The Instrumentalist, The Canadian Band Journal and Percussive Notes.
A music educator for over 30 years, Dr. Smith integrated innovative methods and technology into his teaching. In pursuit of techniques to improve his students’ sight-reading and rhythm skills he developed two computer-based systems: Flash Tracker and Solo Duets. Flash Tracker uses a flashcard approach to encourage musicians to quickly recognize notated music. The computer program displays the music, listens to musicians’ interpretations and analyzes their performances. Performers are graded on note accuracy and rhythmic precision. Solo Duets consists of a series of two part exercises. Musicians record both parts using readily available multi-track recording software to evaluate rhythmic accuracy. Both programs are available from jbsmithmusic.com.
Dr. Smith is active as a composer, with numerous works published by C. Alan Publications and J. B. Smith Music.
As a clinician, he has appeared at the Music Educator's National Conference, multiple Percussive Arts Society International Conventions and over 100 colleges and universities in North America, Asia and Europe. Dr. Smith proudly endorses Pearl Drums, Adams Percussion, Zildjian Cymbals, Mike Balter Mallets, Remo Drumheads and Grover Pro Percussion.