Bassist, Composer, and Teacher
Sean Smith has been an integral part of the international jazz scene for more than 25 years. He has appeared in many of the major jazz festivals, concert halls, and clubs all over the world.

Sean has performed with Gerry Mulligan, Phil Woods, Benny Carter, Flip Phillips, Clark Terry, Johnny Griffin, Lee Konitz, Art Farmer, Tom Harrell, Jacky Terrasson, Bill Charlap, Peggy Lee, Rosemary Clooney, Mark Murphy, Jimmy Scott, Andy Bey, Tracy K. Smith (winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry), and many others.

Sean is also a prolific composer whose works have been played and recorded by such artists as Phil Woods, Mark Murphy, Bill Charlap, Gene Bertoncini, Leon Parker, and Bill Mays. His music has also been featured in several films.

Lyrical, melodic, cinematic, and songful best describe Sean's compositions. Ira Gitler has written “His originals are highly listenable and thought provoking music for both head and heart". Smith’s Song For The Geese is the title track of Mark Murphy’s 1998 Grammy nominated album for RCA/BMG.

Sean's ensemble was awarded the CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming in 2015. In 2007 Sean received a Bistro Award for Outstanding Instrumentalist. Sean was a member of the Jacky Terrasson Trio for four years. His work with Terrasson and Emmanuel Pahud on Into The Blue (EMI/Blue Note) was nominated for a 2003 Grammy Award.

For the last 20 years Sean Smith has been a leader of his own group. His dynamic working quartet includes John Ellis on the saxophones, Nate Radley at the guitar, Russell Meissner at the drums, and Sean at the bass. Their recordings include Sean Smith Quartet Live! (Chiaroscuro Records), and Poise (Ambient Records), both featuring his compositions. The Sean Smith Quartet performs regularly in New York City. Their newest recording, Trust, was released in 2011 and received rave reviews. Sean Smith earned his Bachelor of Music from the Manhattan School of Music and lives in New York City.



“Poise is such an apt word in describing Sean Smith. …[He] has an unlimited future as straight as the crow flies."
Harvey Siders – JazzTimes

“Smith’s been steadily building both a strong book of original pieces and a firm rapport…"
John Donohue – New Yorker Magazine

“The arrangements are cool, the ballads moody and gorgeous. Both sophisticated and emotional, intricate and uncluttered, it reveals richer artistry with each spin. Highly recommended." 4&1/2 stars
Judith Schlesinger –

“Sean understands! He also happens to be one of our most promising young composers."
Phil Woods

“No doubt, this band surges forward with a noticeable degree of self-assurance and refinement. …The title of this production provides credence to the musicians’ articulate interplay and tightly integrated approach. Recommended."
Glenn Astarita –

“…Smith not only reiterates his talent as a bassist but establishes himself as a composer who shows you don’t have to be quirky and abrasive in order to be freshly modern. His originals are highly listenable and thought provoking music for both head and heart."
Ira Gitler

“The first eight of the nine selections are Smith’s and, writing as one who ordinarily prefers the standard repertoire, I can vouch for their capacity to ensnare and hold one’s attention. Mine never wavered…"
Jack Bowers – Cadence Magazine

“It is music by a working band at ease with one another…Smith pieces that sustain interest, something that cannot be said about the masses of originals that clog so many jazz CDs."
Doug Ramsey – JazzTimes

“Quiet, poetic, and lyrical, Sean Smith reminds us that the best jazz comes from the heart, not merely from the mind or the fingers. …He takes us on compelling journeys, full of sounds that fall gracefully on the ear."
James Gavin – Grammy nominated author and journalist “…Smith’s debut disc as a leader exhibits his growing skills as a composer and bandleader. He writes engaging themes, interacts with compatible sidemen…"
David Orthmann – Jazziz

“…Smith and his sidemen take post-bop formations and make them anew with well-crafted improvisations."
Jules Epstein – Philadelphia Tribune

“…These are more than just exquisitely talented musicians." 4 stars
J. Robert Bragonier –


"...thoughtful, affecting originals...Smith employs finesse, taste, authority, and excellent personnel..."

“…truly a rarity – a thoughtful, sophisticated quartet album adept at both swing and chamber jazz intricacy and delicacy."
Hot House Magazine

“...enormously smart and sophisticated. A terrific package from start to finish."

“...each session spent with this music will bring new rewards."
Jersey Jazz

“Right from the first tune…you know you are in for something special. …Smith is a superb writer; there is not one weak link among the album's 12 tunes. His well-chosen band-mates help him keep the journey fresh at every turn."
Rochester City Newspaper

“Bassist Sean Smith trusts his band, and it shows. This is inspired ensemble work, born out of mutual respect, and there is the hope—and trust—that Smith will record this group again…"

“…Smith and his compatriots present original compositions with a confidence that can make the numbers seem strangely familiar. …they are delivered with such impeccable poise that one has the sense that they might, yet, become classics."

“It’s a solidly mainstream group, with Smith’s compositions and the collective commitment giving this quartet a distinct and engaging personality."
New York City Jazz Record

“Swinging jazz that has a sense of humor…"

“This unit works well together performing Smith's vision and we expect they'll return soon."


“…a quiet and joyful gem…one of the best jazz albums of 2011…"
Huffington Post