L A Smith - Percussionist

LA Smith is a Conga, Bongo and Hand Percussionist with experience in blues, pop, rock and salsa music from New York City. He’s considered a legend by musicians in Costa Rica.
LA Smith has been playing music since he was 7 years old. LA's first instrument was the accordion. After that he studied piano and played countless piano recitals. LA first performed bongos in Greenwich Village's Washington Square in New York City at age 12. By the time LA was 17 he was playing with folk singer, Mary Mac, in sundry New York bars. 
Evermore passionate and enthusiastic, LA began playing with several groups in the late 70’s and 80’s, some aired nationally on NPR and on local radio stations.

In Columbia, Missouri, LA launched "Shelter in the Garden" concerts and in collaboration with National Public Radio formed the Midwest Jazz All-Star's. LA played on the 4th of July to an audience of over 25,000 in the University of Missouri's stadium. LA performed warm up with local musician Norman Jolly for blues legend, Taj Mahal, at the University of Missouri.

1988 in San Francisco, LA had the opportunity to play with Jules Broussard of the San Francisco music scene who played with Alice Coltrane and Carlos Santana.

Since 2009 LA has played in festivals from coast to coast, including Festival International Blues De Tremblant in Canada to The Baja Blues Festival in Rosarito Beach, Mexico. LA has played with many national headliners such as, Tab Benoit, Chubby Carrier, Michael Burks, Grady Champion, Lightnin’ Malcolm, Calexico, Randy Oxford Band, Mike Zito, Sonny Mormon and Cedric Burnside. LA has jammed with many great musicians on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise, to include Coco Montoya, Tommy Castro, Curtis Salgado, Larry McCray, Kim Wilson and Taj Mahal to name just a few.
LA toured with The Randy Oxford Band from 2011 through 2014, being nominated for the “Muddy Award” by The Cascade Blues Society in 2011, 2013 and 2014. Executive producer and percussionist on “it feels good” CD, with Randy Oxford Band. Having the Washington Blues Society nominate the CD for the “BB Award” for album of the year.

LA's love for music inspired him to launch a program to teach percussion workshops to kids all over the world. And, LA continues his annual fundrairing concerts for charities in his home town.






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