Brian Smith Profile

John Dix
26 Aug 2013

Brian Smith sits alongside the most successful New Zealand musicians, regardless of genre. Grounded in jazz, Smith has also worked with some of the top international acts in pop and rock. He has the distinction of being the only NZ jazz player to top the local album charts.

Brian Smith (born January 3, 1939) grew up in a farming family near Toko, on State Highway 43 (“The Forgotten World Highway”). Leaving school at 16, he worked the farm and played clarinet and saxophone in Taranaki dance bands before arriving in Auckland in 1958, just as things were picking up on the teenage scene. He was soon playing in the Bob Paris Combo at the Jive Centre. When Paris crossed the Tasman in January 1960, Smith went too.

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Murray Grindlay and Brian Smith, Sale St, Auckland, October 2011
Photo credit: Richard Morris collection
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Brian Smith Quartet - Footprints
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Brian Smith with Maynard Ferguson,and Ernie Garside, LA 2004
Photo credit: Brian Smith Collection
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Billboard, the Auckland Club Band with Ian Fraser, Geoff Castle, Martin Winch (in hat at back), Billy Kristian (in cap), Beaver, and Brian Smith. This was taken mid-1983.
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Brian Smith at Auckland Art Gallery with Mike Walker, Billy Kristian and Tony Hopkins
Photo credit: Brian Smith Collection
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Brian Smith, Glyn Tucker Jnr and Carl Doy, 1995
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Bob Paris Band, Onehunga 1959. L to R: Bill Fairs, Brian Smith, Desna, Keith McMillan (behind), Bob Paris, Gene Blazer, Dave MacRae
Photo credit: Brian Smith Collection
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Brian Smith and Harry Lyon at the 1992 APRA Silver Scrolls
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Murray Grindlay and Brian Smith, Sale St, Auckland, October 2011
Photo credit: Richard Morris collection
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The Bob Paris Band: Brian Smith, Bob Paris, Mick Dawson, Keith Graham, Tony Hopkins
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Bob Gillett, Brian Smith, Tony Hopkins (obscured), Mike Walker and Neville Whitehead
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Brian Smith with Nucleus in Munich, January 1981. L to R: Geoff Castle (keyboards), Chucho Merchan (bass), Nic France (drums), Brian Smith (flute), Ian Carr (trumpet)
Photo credit: Brian Smith Collection
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The Brian Smith band playing the CJC Auckland on the 13th June 2012
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Georgie Fame and Brian Smith, late 1980s, Auckland
Photo credit: Brian Smith Collection
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The 1971 Nucleus album We'll Talk About It Later
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Nucleus, L to R: Ray Russell, Ian Carr, Brian Smith, Karl Jenkins, John Marshall, Roy Babbington
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Brian Smith with Maynard Ferguson at Ronnie Scotts, London 1970
Photo credit: Brian Smith Collection
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