Baron Browne, my
beloved rhythm section partner, passed away
early in the morning of September 2, 2021. Baron
and I have played together since 1998, when he
joined my band Vital Information. From the day I
first played with him until now, he was my
first-call bass player. We toured and recorded
with Buddy’s Buddies, Jazz Legacy, and pianist
Aydin Esen. We toured Europe with saxophonist
Bill Evans, recorded for Andrea Bocelli; our
final gig together was with Steps Ahead on
November 15, 2019. Baron played on a total of
twelve of my albums, my Hudson Music educational
videos and myriad gigs including the Drum
Fantasy Camp rhythm section and The Buddy Rich
Big Band. You could say he was the bass player
of my lifetime.
Baron’s creativity found
an outlet on the Vital Information albums as I
gave him free rein for his exceptional
production and compositional ideas, which were
influential to the overall sound of the group.
As an improviser, he was of the highest level,
and not just as a soloist. As a bass player he
would develop new, and compositionally amazing,
basslines night after night and inspire the
entire group with his deep groove and
creativity. Baron and I were close friends and
enjoyed our time together on the road, both
offstage and onstage. As a legacy, he now has
instilled in me the awareness to cherish, in the
moment, every band member and experience I have
from this day forward. I certainly cherish him
and will remember his face, his joy and
basslines on every gig I play as I go on without
his physical presence.
This video montage was produced by
drummer and video editor Christian Grassart, as
a loving tribute to Baron Browne who was loved
by all who played with him and all who knew him.
to read Baron Browne's obituary written by
jazz writer Michael West.
Steve Smith on The Playful Musician Podcast
Check out this great
podcast with Steve Smith!
Steve Smith: From The Practice Room
Steve has been
distancing at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But during this time, he has been creative and
Steve has been posting videos
as part of a series called "From The Practice
Room." The series includes videos about brush
playing, Indian konnakol, and much more. We will
be updating this page with more and more videos
from Steve's practice room. Make sure to follow
YouTube for the latest!
a series for Zildjian that focused on hand
technique using flam taps, eventually getting
into flammed diddles & phrases of 2, 3, 4, 5, 7,
& 9. Good for your chops and improv vocabulary.
Steve uses four version of matched gripo as
described in his "Pathways of Motion" book
(Hudson Music). Download the PDF, below!
Practice Room: A Drumset Application of
Konnakol and South Indian Rhythms Pt. 1
Steve Smith teaches about South Indian
rhythms and applies them to the drumset.
Download two helpful PDFs, below, for a
transcription of what Steve played in this video
- and to learn about konnakol syllables,
suggested stickings, and the form of the Korvai
The Paul DeLong
transcription PDF features the konnakol and
drumset transcriptions used in the video, below.
The Ram Swaminathan transcription PDF features
more traditional spelling of the konnakol
syllables, suggested stickings and the form of
the korvai (rhythmic composition) is notated.
This PDF is also based on Steve's video, below.
From The Practice Room
Steve Smith and Tony Monaco: "Oleo"
Drummer Steve Smith and Hammond B3 master
Tony Monaco are swinging hard on Sonny Rollins'
"Oleo." This tune was recorded in each
musician's home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
From The Practice Room
A Conversation with Hudson Music featuring Steve
Smith, Jeff Hamilton, and Adman Nussbaum
conversation and demonstrations of the art of
brush playing! Hosted by Rob Wallis of Hudson
here to see the entire
series on Steve's YouTube channel!
Zildjian #Instalessonz Live Steve is taking part
in Zildjian's #Instalessonz Live on Facebook:
Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 3pm ET. Check it out on
the Zildjian page! The video will be available
here once it is complete.
PDF link on the right to
download a chart from the lesson!
Here are some recent videos from Steve Smith.
Make sure to check out the
YouTube page for tons of
Smith vs. Smith
The beginning of
this "drum battle" with myself was inspired by
the album "Rich versus Roach." In my early
teens, I'd listen to the album over and over and
tried my best to play like Buddy and Max. As the
drum battle starts, on the left side I'm playing
in the intense, snare-drum-chops-oriented style
of Buddy Rich. On the right side, I'm playing in
the be-bop-melodic-lyrical style of Max Roach.
As the duet progresses, I'm going for it on both
sides and I end by playing some South Indian
rhythmic compositions in unison. Having a drum
battle/duet with myself was a fun way to
conclude the Hudson Music "Drum Legacy: Standing
on the Shoulders of Giants" project. -
In this clinic video,
I am “playing the room,” which means
being aware of the size of the space and
playing at an appropriate overall level
to have the drums sound full - but not
too loud for the listeners. I’m
demonstrating a wide range of overall
dynamics plus inner dynamics, touch, and
- Steve Smith
Thanks to Drumtek
Australia, Sonor Drums, Zildjian, Remo,
Vic Firth, DW pedals, Hudson Music,
Cympad International, and PureSound
Tom Coster, Jan
Hammer, Steve Smith, Frank Gambale: NAMM
The group perfomrs
"Caught in the Act" by Walter
Journey Shows and Steve
Smith Las Vegas Art Events!
performed with Journey throughout the month
of October at The Colosseum at Caesar's Palace!
Additionally, Steve was at Carnavale Gallery
at Caesar's on October 10, 17, and 24,
discussing his new art collection through Scene
Steve is featured in the latest edition of VF
Jams - music videos produced by Vic Firth that
feature top drummers jamming with an incredible
In this edition, Steve performed
the Vital Information tune "8 + 5," which was
written by Steve, Baron Browne, and Vinny
Valentino. This version was arranged by the
great Robert "Sput" Searight. Check it out
Order NOW! Heart of The City from Vital
Information NYC Edition!
Information NYC Edition is back!
Smith's band, whose lineage goes back more than
30 years, has released it's burning new album,
"Heart of the City." It features 12 tunes
performed by six amazing musicians: Baron Browne
(bass and vocals), Mark Soskin (piano and
Rhodes), Vinny Valentino (guitar),
(alto sax), and George Brooks (tenor and alto
here to order the CD
directly from Steve! All copies are signed and
will be shipped immediately!
Steve and Journey played more than 60 shows all
over the United States this summer! The band
split most of its shows with Def Leppard, who
put on an amazing show. Steve enjoyed seeing
fans and also some old friends along the way!