The leading pioneer of the bassoon with his many critically acclaimed award-winning recordings and live performances. As the most recorded bassoon soloist in the world, his repertoire spans music ranging from Baroque concerti to contemporary music including jazz, ragtime and crossover. He is the only bassoonist performing and recording in both the jazz and classical fields. Daniel Smith's unique career has been profiled in Gramophone, the New York Times, Fanfare, Classical Music, Musical Heritage Review, American Record Guide, Classic CD and many leading European publications including The Times in England. In the USA, his career was highlighted on PBS's "All Things Considered'. In the UK, one of his recordings was the 'signature tune' for BBC radio 3 while BBC radio 4 recently showcased his career.
Daniel Smith's performances include jazz with his quartet 'Bassoon and Beyond', classical recitals with piano, concertos with orchestra, and highly popular programs divided between classical and jazz, with music ranging from Vivaldi, Elgar, Mozart and Verdi to Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins and Dizzy Gillespie. Described as a 'phenomenon', he has been called the 'Gerry Mulligan of the Bassoon' in the world of jazz and the 'Galway' and 'Rampal of the Bassoon' in the world of classical music, bringing his unique sound and style to concert series, festivals and jazz clubs.
His historic and unprecedented 6 CD set on ASV of the complete 37 Vivaldi bassoon concertos was chosen as 'Best Concerto Recording of the Year' by the Music Industry Association and awarded the Penguin Guide's coveted *** rosette rating as well as inclusion in Fanfare's annual 'Want List'. These concertos, recorded with The English Chamber Orchestra and I Solisti di Zagreb, firmly established Daniel Smith as a leading soloist on his instrument. His recordings with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Caravaggio Ensemble for the ASV White Line label produced innovate crossover albums, with unique renditions of ragtime pieces, opera excerpts, and popular standards. In the world of jazz, his albums on the Zah Zah label, 'BEBOP BASSOON' and 'THE SWINGING BASSOON' showcase the music of Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, Horace Silver, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and many other legendary jazz artists. Other recordings of Daniel Smith are available on Vox, MHS, KemDisc, Pearl, Spectrum, Cambria, Regis, Crystal and Forum labels.
His performances have included many firsts: The American West Coast premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Gunther Schuller's 'Concerto for Contrabassoon and Orchestra'; the world premiere of Steve Gray's 'Jazz Suite For Bassoon' with the Welsh Chamber Orchestra; solo concerts at New York's Lincoln Center and the Tivoli Concert Hall in Copenhagen, and also five appearances at London's 'Pizza On The Park' with his jazz quartet. Other major venues where he has performed include New York's Carnegie Recital Hall (two appearances) and the Merkin Concert Hall. In London, the Wigmore Hall (three times), St.John's Smith Square, and the BBC Concert Hall. His many recordings are heard throughout the world on classical and jazz radio stations, National Public Radio in the USA, major airlines for in-flight listening, and featured with leading book and record clubs as well as the Muzak network.
In 2003, Daniel Smith was designated as 'Ambassador for the Bassoon' by Youth Music in the UK.
In 2005, legendary composer/arranger ROBERT FARNON dedicated his final composition to Daniel Smith. Entitled 'Romancing the Phoenix', this three movement bassoon concerto for solo amplified bassoon with rhythm section and full symphony orchestra in a jazz oriented style with symphonic overtones was written specifically with Daniel in mind. Warner Chappell recently published the score and parts with Robert Farnon's dedication to 'The American virtuoso Daniel Smith' on the title page. World-wide premieres of this exciting and innovative piece by one of the 20th Century's greatest composer/arrangers will be announced shortly.