Early Days

Cool in 1958

William E. (Bill) Smith is a British Columbia-based musician, writer, editor, graphic designer, photographer, and record and film producer.

From 1976 until 2001 with John Norris, he co-produced the Canadian jazz periodical Coda Magazine, Sackville Recordings (winning three Juno awards – 1977, 1980 & 1983) and its subsidiary label Onari Records.

He was a founder member of a succession of Toronto-based music groups integral to the Canadian improvised music community in the 1970s, including Canadian Creative Music Collective (CCMC), the New Art Music Ensemble with David Lee & David Prentice which in 1980 became the Bill Smith Ensemble; they recorded five albums, including collaborations with Joe McPhee and Wadada Leo Smith. As a composer and performer he has played and/or recorded with Michael Snow, Lol Coxhill, Evan Parker, Steve McCaffery, Paul Cram, Tony Wilson, Maja Bannerman, John Tchicai, Monique Leger, Roscoe Mitchell, Joe McPhee, Birdyak, Wolfgang Fuchs and the Six Winds. All artists of international significance.

He initiated a series of projects with the title Imagine the Sound in the ‘80s, including a book of his writings and photography and the acclaimed documentary film with director Ron Mann. Among his numerous book projects apart from Imagine The Sound, Rant & Dawdle and Spirits Rejoice are Music IS Rapid Transportation …from the Beatles to Xenakis (2011), Bimhuis: Stories of 25 years at the Bimhuis (1999), Mixtery (1995), Into The Night Life (1986), Jazz Styles (1978). His photographs have appeared in numerous magazines, books, and shown in exhibitions in Canada, U.S.A., France and Denmark.

There are twenty odd recordings of his music, and handful of films and radio shows for which he has composed the sound tracks or produced.

He has been nominated three times for the Order of Canada (3 strikes and you’re out). In 2010 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York based Jazz Journalists Association.

Boogie Pete And The Senator – Canadian Musicians In Jazz: The Eighties, by Mark Miller, Nightwood Editions (pp. 233-240).
Archived Web Site
Archived Photograph Site
Bill Smith Wikipedia Entry
New Art Music Ensemble
BC Bookworld Profile Page

3500K Shinglespit Road
Deaf Cat Lane, The Shire
Hornby Island, British Columbia, Canada V0R 1Z0

E-mail: classicimprov@yahoo.ca