photo by Jenny Gallego

An appreciation of Ian Smith 15/06/65 - 14/05/2022

We were saddened & shocked to hear of the recent
passing of trumpet player Ian Smith.
Ian was pivotal in the formation of the London Improvisers Orchestra when Butch Morris' London skyscraper tour of the UK concluded in November 1997.
Ian reached out to Evan Parker, Caroline Kraabel and Steve Beresford to suggest that an Orchestra could meet and perform on a regular basis carrying on the methods that Butch Morris called Conduction and thus, the LIO was born. Born in Ireland 1965, Ian started playing trumpet at age 15 taking lessons from Joe Csibi and Bobby Shew. Ian came from a strong tradition of Dance band trumpet players in his family. Ian saw Dizzy Gillespie in Ireland and was granted a back stage meeting where the trumpeter generously gave the young Ian advice and tips on playing. Ian continued to gain experience playing and recording sessions. TV work as well as concerts and theatre work culminating with Ian joining punk band Real Wild West whose first single was produced by Shane MacGowan & Phillip Chevron from the Pogues. Ian moved to London in 1990 and soon sought out the rich London improv scene performing with John Stevens, Maggie Nichols, Lol Coxhill & Eddie Prevost. He was also instrumental in setting up the first gathering with Maggie Nichols. In recent years performing in Crush as well as concerts with Waddad Leo Smith, Poet John Sinclair and 80's cult singer Lene Lovich.
Ian's cheerful and joyous personality was always welcomed when the LIO convened and that ebullient spirit and energy translated in his dynamic performances as well as his dedication to the London Improvisers Orchestra and his loss will be profoundly felt by all who heard,knew and performed with him.

Ian Michael Charles Smith 15/06/1965 - 14/05/2022