[Hale Smith; Photo Credit Marilyn Harris (mid-1970s) ]
“Famed Composer Smith Dies
November 30th, 2009
Classical and jazz music composer HALE SMITH has died due to complications of a stroke. He was 84. Smith, who performed with jazz greats including drummer Chico Hamilton and late bandleader Dizzy Gillespie, died on Tuesday (24 Nov 09) at his home in Freeport, Long Island.
“Smith was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943, where he arranged the music for shows touring Army camps. Upon leaving the service in 1945, he enrolled in the Cleveland Institute of Music and later became known playing jazz piano in nightclubs in the Ohio city.
“Smith also composed jingles and music for U.S. radio, television and theater, and influential works including Contours for Orchestra in 1961, and Ritual and Incantations in 1974.” “Smith is survived by his wife of 61 years, Juanita, a daughter, Robin, three sons, Michael, Eric and Marcel, and three grandchildren.” [A biography of Hale Smith is featured at AfriClassical.com. It includes a comprehensive Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma of Lawrence University Conservatory in Appleton, Wisconsin]