Richard Smith


Richard Smith is a guitarist, composer, producer, arranger and professor, who pursues the variety of roles he plays with ferocious passion and depth.  His thirteen solo recordings have established him as a veteran of the contemporary music world - with critical success on every one of his releases. His albums have garnished praise such as “Best Contemporary Jazz Guitar Album” (Tune Up Magazine), a nomination for “Record of the Year” (Ad Lib Magazine), and “Best New Artist” (Radio & Records Magazine). His album 'SOuLIDIFIED' spent 17 weeks in the top 10 for radio airplay of American contemporary jazz radio (Radio and Records Magazine) and 3 weeks at number 1 in the World for satellite and cable airplay (Music Choice).

His most recent recording, “Tangos”, 2014, was in the top 10 of the indie and contemporary jazz charts for over 5 months. “One World, Two Guitars” is an exciting duo project with the virtuoso Sicilian guitarist, Francesco Buzzurro. The duo tours regularly in America and Europe. In 2012 he spent a semester as visiting professor at Agder University, Norway.  Richard has on-going relationships with schools in Australia, Malaysia, Norway, England, Greece, Italy and Argentina.

Richard is also Full Professor and former Chair of the Studio/Jazz Guitar department at the renowned Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He holds a dual appointment, and is also a member of the new Popular Music Performance Studies department, the first of its kind at the conservatory level. He has developed a groundbreaking course entitled “Contemporary Music, a Global Perspective’, where USC students fly to London and collaborate with an international student roster at The Institute of Popular Music Performance (ICMP).  Richard also developed the first DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts), Contemporary Guitar, program in the World at USC. Graduates of this program hold distinguished positions as professors, deans and department chairs, all over the World.

His students are working professionally from Broadway and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, to recording and touring with such luminaries as Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Dan Siegel, Marc Anthony, Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Elton John, Madonna, Michael Bolton, Bono, Maroon 5, Jenifer Lopez, John Mayer and current hit television programs American Idol and Glee.  To learn more about Richard Smith, visit him online at

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