An Interview with Dr. Lonnie Smith

Feb 3, 2014

Dr. Lonnie Smith will perform in Omaha this weekend.

The good doctor of all things Hammond B-3 will bring his trio to the 1200 club at the Holland Performing Arts Center on Friday night February 7th. Showtime is at 8pm. For more information you may visit

The endlessly creative and dynamic Hammond B-3 organist, now 71, continues to entertain audiences worldwide. His current trio includes Jonathan Kreisberg, guitar and Jonathan Blake, drums.

Dr. Lonnie Smith performed at the Iowa City Jazz Festival in July, 2013. Leading a trio for the engagement, Smith at times created crescendos of emotion through intensely funky and at times stellar musical statements.  His seemingly limitless technique and dynamic trio entertained an appreciative audience of all ages for several hours.

Smith's recording career began in the 1960s, when he was the organist for George Benson's quartet on several albums. Smith's first recording as a leader, Finger Lickin' Good, was made in 1966. Recording dates followed with saxophonist Lou Donaldson on several history making Blue Note recordings, including Alligator Boogaloo.  This led to the organist receiving his own recording contract with Blue Note,  which led to the soul jazz classics Think!, Turning Point, Move Your Hand, and Live at Club Mozambique.

Smith's first live recording on his own Pilgrimage imprint, The Healer, was a dynamic, powerful organ trio experience.

On the latest release,  In The Beginning Volumes 1 & 2,  the liner notes declare that "Dr. Lonnie Smith revisits, recontextualizes and reimagines a dozen songs from his first decade as a recording artist." For this recording. Dr. Lonnie Smith enlisted an Octet. The result was an excellent live date, including two discs of music recorded last year in New York.

Jazz in the Afternoon host Chris Cooke recently spoke with Dr. Lonnie Smith over the phone. Click on the link below to hear that conversation(Recording engineer: Mike Hansen.).

For more information you may visit

(Photo credit: Chris Cooke/KIOS)