Lucy Smith was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. As leader/arranger for the Lucy Smith Quartet/Quintet and as singer/songwriter for the jazz-infused Passing for Normal/Swag, Lucy has led a myriad of musical combinations exploring the worlds of traditional jazz, blues, gospel and other popular music. Inspired to make her passion her life, Lucy completed vocal performance and jazz studies under the tutelage of Patricia Barber, Bobbi Wilsyn, Orbert Davis and Jennifer Shelton. Lucy served eight years as the music director for Chicago’s Fourth Presbyterian’s “Jazz at Four” service where she created a new jazz infused paradigm for worship while rearranging centuries old hymns and keeping alive the legacy of sacred jazz music. Her other music director work includes projects at the Park West Theatre, Goodman Theatre and at Steppenwolf Theatre where she shared the stage with blues legend Koko Taylor and others. Lucy has composed and performed music for the feature film Hannah Free and the documentary Woke Up Black. She cast and directed a readers theatre production of Jewell Parker Rhodes' Ghost Boy. Lucy was lead vocalist for the Center for Black Music Research's Stop-Time Ensemble and the Concord Orchestra. Lucy's holiday album, “Singing Christmas, ” is ranked No. 1 on the Americana Charts as of January 2023.
Lucy Smith: “Singing Christmas” (Living Muse Songs). Chicagoan Lucy Smith goes to church in “Singing Christmas,” the singer digging deeply into the spiritual side of seasonal repertoire. The austere beauty of her version of “Silent Night,” the gospel fervor she brings to “Jesus Gonna Be Here” and the imploring quality of her singing in “Rise Up, Shepherd and Follow” explore the meaning of faith. The unadorned beauty of Smith’s work, as well as her inclusion of less-familiar repertoire, distinguish “Singing Christmas,” making it a testament to what the holiday signifies.
-- Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
Influenced by a rich portfolio of sounds, from Mariam Makeba to Stevie Wonder to Nina Simone and Abbey Lincoln, "the rich, deep, Lucy Smith sound seeps down in your soul and stirs it forward. Whether she's singing about love lost or newly found, she moves your heart to a warm place in the sun."
With a mature and confident voice, Lucy covers the spectrum -- offering jazz, blues and some funky R&B. Her arrangements are artful, the songwriting smart and there are some wonderful surprises. So listen and enjoy!
-- Richard Steele, Chicago Public Radio
Chicago-based jazz vocalist Lucy Smith is both a talented songwriter and a gifted interpreter of other people's songs. Smith's originals are truly inspired and deserve to be heard by everyone.
-- Gregg Shapiro, Chicago Free Press
...vocalist Lucy Smith's mellifluous smooth as butter vocals...immediately grab your attention.
-- Dan Kening, Metromix
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