NEW! "Time Flies" +
Companion CD Signed by Steve Smith (and
Information is back! Celebrationg the band's
40th Anniversary, the band has released it's new
CD "Time Flies" with a companion CD "A Prayer
For The Generations." Released as a two CD
signed by Steve Smith, you can order
Or, you can stream "Time Flies" on most
major streaming platforms. Click here for
“Emergence” kicks off TIME FLIES with a
powerful and intricate composition by keyboard
player Manuel Valera, a Grammy nominated artist
and Guggenheim Fellow. Steve Smith’s drum
performance invokes the spirit of Tony Williams
during his “Believe It” period. Bud Powell’s
“Tempus Fugue-It” requires a high degree of
technical facility to play the up-tempo piece in
a relaxed, swinging way and the new incarnation
of Vital Information has the chops to play this
classic with ease. “Time Flies” is an improvised
groove piece featuring saxophone guru George
Garzone. Manuel Valera’s sophisticated reworking
of “Darn That Dream” is a showcase for the brush
mastery of the Vital Information bandleader.
Another inventive arrangement by Valera, “Un
Poco Loco,” uses the rhythm of the cowbell beat
Max Roach played on the original recording,
applied to the melody, to breathe new life into
this Bud Powell masterpiece. Steve Smith
performed Mike Mainieri’s “Self Portrait” many
times as a member of Steps Ahead; after a
breathtakingly beautiful piano intro by Valera,
the group has their own interpretation of this
“stadium size” jazz/rock ballad.
Garzone sits in on tenor sax for McCoy Tyner’s
“Inception” and inspires the group to dizzying
heights. “Choreography in Six,” a new jazz/rock
anthem co-written by Valera and Smith explores
rhythmic, harmonic and melodic variations in
6/4. “No Qualm,” a Valera original, is the
perfect setting to feature Steps Ahead
bandleader Mike Mainieri sitting in on
vibraphone. On Monk’s “Ugly Beauty,” the trio
takes an odd-time (5/4) and electric approach
with Valera featured on Fender Rhodes. Cole
Porter’s “What Is This Thing Called Love?”
starts with a sax & drum duet and morphs into a
7/4 vamp, setting up a highly original take on
the melody. The song ends in classic Vital
Information style with a tour de force drum solo
from Smith. The album concludes with a
mysterious and moody composition by bassist
Janek Gwizdala, with Smith using his 34"
Zildjian gong as a ride cymbal and
probing solos by all three band members.
Companion Bonus CD “A PRAYER FOR THE
Smith’s formative years at the Berklee College
of Music in the early 70s, he often played with
saxophonist George Garzone’s group The Fringe.
Steve reached out to George and invited him to
play a few tunes on the TIME FLIES recording.
When that session was finished the group decided
to continue recording together and explore
stellar regions. George called Coltrane’s “One
Down, One Up.” They played one high-energy take
and decided to enter a space of “collective
group composition.” George suggested: “Let’s
play as if we are offering a prayer.” The result
is A PRAYER FOR THE GENERATIONS Parts 1–8. Each
piece was improvised and performed one time in
the order presented on Disc 2. The players
connected in a telepathic zone creating an
acoustic/electric sonic landscape infused with
question/answer, discovery and surprise, with
pieces ranging from mid-tempo groovers, rubato
ballads, 3/4 blues to up-tempo burners; A truly
innovative chapter in the ever-evolving musical
output of Steve Smith and Vital Information.
Order "Time Flies" + "A Prayer For The
Generations" signed by Steve Smith
here! Stream it
Steve Smith & Vital
Information The 40th
Anniversary Tour - Time Flies (Tempus
The iconic Steve
Smith and Vital Information will celebrate its
40th birthday with a U.S. tour starting in
March, 2023! The tour is entitled "Time Flies"
(Tempus Fugit) and features Steve, bassist Janek
Gwizdala, and keyboardist Manuel Valera.
for tour dates on the West coast and East coast!
WBGO: Steve Smith Hosts
Five Different Groups at Birdland
Steve's September/October residency
at Birdland is special - featuring five
Read the article
here! Get all the tour
NEW! Video Interviews
with Steve Smith
Joe Gansas brings
Daniel Glass, Rob Wallis and Mike Vanderhule
together to talk about Steve Smith on his August
21 birthday. Joe then conducts an AROUND THE KIT
in-depth interview with Steve discussing his
Drumset Soloing course on Drumeo and many other
subjects. Featured are two LIVE drum solos from
Steve’s 2016-2019 tours with Journey.
Modern Drummer Legends
Here is an excerpt from the new Modern
Drummer Legends book on Steve Smith. Use
these links to get the book:
Steve Smith: Understanding, Following and
Developing the Opportunities By Mark Griffith
In looking back through all of the
interviews that Steve Smith has done with Modern
have been based around Vital Information or
Journey. While those groups are both excellent
examples to study Steve as a musician, his
musical scope is far greater.
comment on Steve’s versatility would be an
understatement. For example: There was a time
from January to April 2016 where Steve Smith
recorded a solo drum set album (Fabric of
Rhythm,) a new Vital Information album (Heart of
the City,) played live shows and recorded a new
album with Steps Ahead and the famed WDR big
band (Steppin’ Out – with WDR Big Band Cologne,)
performed straight-ahead jazz at Birdland Jazz
Club NYC with the Groove Blue Organ Trio and the
next week played Madison Square Garden with
Journey! Who else does that?
answered that question with a nice synopsis of
his drumming approach, “Understanding what every
gig requires is essential. Developing that
understanding means living with a particular
musical approach for a long time. Initially it’s
a case of studying the music and practicing the
music, but then you have to immerse yourself in
playing the music by being hired by someone that
excels at that style. That way you get to play
the music night after night and really embrace
and inhabit the musical concept. I have been
fortunate to have been hired for many different
situations because the bandleader, or band,
believed that I have the potential to do the
gig. Then I put in the work to develop and try
to become a master of that gig and of that
musical situation. I have been extremely lucky
to be able to go from Berklee to Jean-Luc Ponty
to Ronnie Montrose to Journey to Steps Ahead to
all of the various Indian musicians that I have
been playing with. You can study a style of
music with all your heart but studying can only
get you so far. Hopefully, it will get your foot
in the door, but the real learning starts when
you go out and play the music. That’s the real
Unfortunately, a lot of that
development, and many of the gigs that Steve has
immersed himself in have gone un-recorded or
have appeared on very hard to find authorized
recordings. But the times have changed…
(Continued in the Steve Smith MD Legends book)
RELEASED! Steve Smith
and Vital Information Four CD Set!
Wounded Bird Records has released the first
four Vital Information albums in
a four CD set. The music was originally recorded
for Columbia Records from 1983-1988. The albums
have been newly mastered from original ¼”
Steve Smith explains, “I
searched my storage unit and found unmastered,
¼” safety copies of all four albums. My
mastering engineer, Jim Brick of Absolute Audio,
had the tapes baked and transferred onto
digital. Jim did such an amazing job with the
new mastering of the albums that they sound far
better than the original releases.”
here to learn more and
order your signed/personalized copy!
Steve Smith Extended
Interview with Rob Hart
Drummer/Educator Rob Hart, who is an ex-student
of Steve Smith's, interviews Steve with
questions about subjects motivated by Rob's
ongoing teaching practice. In this wide ranging
interview, which will be interesting to
teachers, students and professional musicians,
Steve discusses the influence of mentors, his
early drum lessons, practice, developing new
ideas, reading music, pulse and time, studio
work, touring, developing equanimity, inner
dynamics and memorizing music and much more.
This is a thought provoking, educational and
Steve Smith Pays Tribute
to Baron Browne
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!
2023 Schedule Saturday, June 17,
2023 Steve Smith and Vital Information
Featuring Manuel Valera (keyboards) Janek
Gwizdala (bass) Steve Smith (drums)
Long Island Drum Center 86 Tec
Street Hicksville, NY 11801 www.lidrum.com
Sunday, June 18, 2023 Steve Smith and
Vital Information featuring Manuel Valera
(keyboards) Janek Gwizdala (bass) Steve Smith
(drums) The Newton Theatre
234 Spring St. Newton, NJ 07860 https://skypac.org/
Monday, June 19, 2023 Steve Smith and
Vital Information Featuring Manuel Valera
(keyboards) Janek Gwizdala (bass) Steve Smith
(drums) Sellersville Theater
24 W Temple Ave Sellersville, PA 18960-2421
here for tickets!
Tuesday, June 20, 2023
Steve Smith and Vital Information Featuring
Manuel Valera (keyboards) Janek Gwizdala (bass)
Steve Smith (drums) Blues Alley
1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW Washington D.C.
20007 202-337-4141 www.bluesalley.com Click here for all the
dates and info!