Musician, composer, performer and recording artist Dr. Lonnie Smith has been a master of the Hammond B-3 organ for more than five decades. Born in Buffalo, N.Y., he was immersed in gospel, blues and jazz, singing and playing the trumpet in his teens. In the late '50s, music storeowner Art Kubera encouraged him to take up a Hammond organ, where he found his musical voice.
The Doctor's first gigs were at Buffalo's hottest jazz club, the Pine Grill, then with George Benson, whose quartet relocated to New York City and quickly earned a reputation as jazz innovators. In 1966, Smith made his first recording as a leader with Finger Lickin' Good. Shortly thereafter, he was scooped up by saxophonist Lou Donaldson, with whom he appeared on Blue Note LPs, including the million-seller, Alligator Boogaloo.
Smith also has recorded for a slew of labels and done everything from covers of the Beatles to tribute albums for Jimi Hendrix. With Jazz Times magazine describing him as "a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a turban," it is no surprise his fan base is truly worldwide.