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Saxophonist Walter Smith III is a forward-thinking musician with a bent toward swinging post-bop jazz and modern creative composition. A native of Houston, Texas, Smith began studying the saxophone at age seven, and by his teens had earned a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 2003, after graduating Berklee with a degree in music education, Smith earned his Master's degree from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. As a professional jazz musician, Smith has performed with such luminaries as trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, drummer Roy Haynes, pianist Eric Reed, and many others. In 2006, he released his debut album as leader, Casually Introducing, and followed it up three years later with Live in Paris. On 2010's III, he was joined by Akinmusire, along with pianist Jason Moran, bassist Joe Sanders, and pianist Eric Harland. In 2014, Smith returned with Still Casual, which also featured Akinmusire, as well as pianist Taylor Eigsti, guitarist Matthew Stevens, bassist Harish Raghavan, and drummer Kendrick Scott. ~ Matt Collar
September 24, 1980 in Houston, TX