Links

University of North Florida,
Department of Music

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Southern Artistry
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Albany Records
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Biography

Gary Smart's career has encompassed a wide range of activities as composer, classical and jazz pianist, and teacher. Always a musician with varied interests, he may be the only pianist to have studied with Yale scholar/keyboardist Ralph Kirkpatrick, the great Cuban virtuoso Jorge Bolet, and the master jazz pianist Oscar Peterson. A true American pluralist, Dr. Smart composes and improvises a music that reflects an abiding interest in Americana, jazz, and world musics, as well as the Western classical tradition.

Smart’s work has been supported by the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Music Educator's National Conference, the Music Teacher's National Association and the National Endowment for the Arts. Smart’s music has been performed in major venues in the US, including the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, as well as venues in Europe and Asia. His "Concordia" for orchestra won the Concordia jazz composition award and was premiered at Lincoln Center, New York.

Smart's compositions are published by Margun Music (G. Schirmer) and his work has been recorded on the Mastersound, Capstone and Albany labels. His CD’s “The Major’s Letter”, which features his songs for voice and piano, “American Beauty – a ragtime bouquet”, “Hot Sonatas”, a collection of jazz-influenced chamber music, and “Turtle Dreams of Flight“, original music for solo piano performed by the composer, have all been released recently by Albany Records. His “Song of the Holy Ground” for string quartet and piano won the 2008 John Donald Robb Musical Trust Composers’ Competition and was premiered at the 2009 Robb Composers’ Symposium at the University of New Mexico.

Dr. Smart has spent two residencies in Japan, teaching in programs at Osaka University and Kobe College. He has also taught in Indonesia as "Distinguished Lecturer in Jazz" under the auspices of the Fulbright program. From 1999-2003, he served as Chairman of the UNF Music Department. Gary Smart is currently a Presidential Professor of Music at the University of North Florida.