Dr. Lonnie Smith
HAMMOND HALL OF FAME 2014
Band / Affiliation: Jazz Legend
Product: B-3 / SK2
“The SK 1 and SK 2! Surpass expectations of a light weight tastefully designed keyboard, keeping with the integrity sound of the Hammond. Congratulations to Hammond for maintaining the legacy!”
Dr. Lonnie Smith was born in Lackawanna, New York, (just outside of Buffalo), into a family with a vocal group and radio program. Smith says that his mother was a major influence on him musically, as she introduced him to gospel, classical, and jazz music. He was part of several vocal ensembles in the 1950s, including the Teen Kings. Art Kubera, the owner of a local music store, gave Smith his first Hammond B-3. Moving to New York City, he met George Benson, connecting on a personal level, and they formed the George Benson Quartet featuring Lonnie Smith, in 1966. After recording several albums with Benson, Smith became a solo recording artist and developed a career that has produced over 30 albums under his own name, many of which are now considered classics of soul jazz. Dr. Lonnie continues to tour the world and release new albums, and is revered as one of the living legends of Jazz. He was named the “Organ Keyboardist of the Year” in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2009 by the Jazz Journalist Association.