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Saxophonist Tommy Smith pays tribute to his greatest inspiration, jazz icon John Coltrane with the quartet he formed in 2017 to mark the 50th anniversary of Coltrane’s death and his own 50th birthday.

A presence on the global jazz scene since his teenage years with Gary Burton’s Whiz Kids quintet, Smith has recorded for legendary jazz labels Blue Note and ECM and currently tours the world with Norwegian bass master Arild Andersen’s trio, widely regarded as one of the premier groups working in jazz today.

Drummer Sebastiaan de Krom has provided the rhythmical powerhouse behind Herbie Hancock and Jamie Cullum and pianist Peter Johnstone, a former Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year, and bassist Calum Gourlay bring experience from working with their own bands as well as with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra’s array of world class guests.

Performing favourite Coltrane compositions alongside Smith’s own homages to his hero, Tommy Smith Quartet: Embodying the Light has been earning ecstatic responses on live dates across the UK and promises exciting music full of spirit, passion, devotion, and emotion.

Support is from the Alan Benzie Trio. Winner of the BBC Scotland Young Jazz Musician at only 17, pianist/composer Alan Benzie is one of the UK’s most exciting young talents. The latest album from his trio "Little Mysteries", recently won Best Album in the Scottish Jazz Awards.

Presented by The Queen's Hall and supported by Creative Scotland and Medici Advisors.

Photo by Derek Clark.

"Smith has managed to convey the special force and character of Coltrane's music."

(Michael Tucker, Jazz Journal)


This show is part of QH@40 - a series of curated performances across four strands funded by Creative Scotland to celebrate The Queen's Hall's 40th Anniversary as a venue in 2019. Each strand is in partnership with guest curators: Jazz (Tommy Smith);  Folk (Heidi Talbot); Contemporary Rock / Pop / Indie (Nicola Meighan) and Experimental New Music (Alasdair Campbell - Counterflows). The aim is to promote unique collaborations and events with diverse and extreme line-ups of the highest artistic quality and creativity.

Tommy Smith Quartet: Embodying the Light