"Sonor drums allow me to play with passion, musicality and confidence."

USA Austria Jazz

Chris Smith

Dr. Chris Smith has performed with jazz icons Randy Brecker, Dick Oatts, and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. An active member of the NYC scene for the last decade he frequently plays with many rising stars of jazz including Troy Roberts, Sam Dillon, and Steven Feifke. He can also be heard regularly as the drummer in the Birdland Big Band. His playing has earned praise for its mix of traditional big band support and modern rhythmic concepts. Relocating to Austria in 2022, Chris is increasingly heard throughout Europe in bands led by Renato Chicco, Dena DeRose, and Luis Bonilla. 

As Professor of Jazz Drums at The University of Music and Performing Arts (KUG) in Graz, Austria Chris teaches a studio of bachelor and master students. For drummers who are interested in becoming well-rounded musicians, Graz is the place to study. You might also consider checking out his online instructional site called Jazz Drum Hang. 

Chris is passionate about jazz research and is a published author. His book The View from the Back of the Band: The Life and Music of Mel Lewis the only biography on drumming legend Mel Lewis. The work tells the story of Mel’s life and includes extensive drum transcriptions and a discography. Having received rave reviews, the book stands as the most in-depth study on a jazz drummer to date.

Follow and connect with Chris below:

Instagram - chrissmithjazzdrums