A Conversation with Richard Smith

During his European tour I met Richard Smith in Apeldoorn, Netherlands in a jazz café. The environment was vivid and noisy as usual. Nevertheless we had a good conversation in relaxed atmosphere.

hbh: First of all I thank you for the opportunity to interview you and that you give me some of your precious time.

RS: It’s my pleasure, it’s my pleasure.

hbh: You are touring now in Netherlands.

RS: Yes.

hbh: Can you tell me something about your gigs here in Netherlands?

RS: We do a combination of larger venues, last night we played in a big square in a town with several hundred people and then we do little venues like this in between where we work out new material. It’s not so much pressure like in a big hall to work through musical ideas. And so we experiment a lot. But also playing in such small jazz clubs is part of the jazz tradition. So I enjoy playing in places as this as well as in big halls. I’m also doing some teaching at the Pop academy. I’m coming from a conservatory in the past. So I combine teaching and playing and working new material. I also write a lot, compose a lot rather here on the road. It’s a big combination of things.

Mainly we are playing theatres or festivals. In England we are playing in the performing art center in Kent, the performing art center is very very beautiful as well as the institute of contemporary music performance I have a relationship with. So a busy tour. When I am done with this tour I’ll go back to Sicily and I’ll finish recording an album with a very fine guitarist Francesco Buzzurro and that’s more about it.

We do Flamenco, Tango, Tarantella. We do a Samba, Bossa Novas, anything what’s ethnic we do. Polca. It’s hard to play Polca as well.

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