Chris Smith is Chair of Musicology and director of the Vernacular Music Center at Texas Tech University. He has taught at Indiana University, U. Mass. Boston, and University College Cork in addition to TTU, and has been featured in Irish Music Magazine.
His Celtic Backup for All Instrumentalists (book/CD; Mel Bay Publications) is a standard text for those wishing to understand the theory and practice of improvised accompaniment in Celtic musics; in addition, he is the author of many other essays and book chapters on topics in jazz, classical, and world musics.
Chris leads roving field-trips for TTU students in the West of Ireland every spring, and his Vernacular Music Center grants an annual scholarship in traditional music. In addition, he records and tours internationally with Altramar medieval music ensemble, leads the Irish traditional band Johnny Faa and the Juke Band (pre-WWII blues and jazz), directs the Texas Tech University Celtic Ensemble, and has appeared on National Public Radio, Minnesota Public Radio, and the Fox Network nationwide.
His 2005 CD of Irish traditional music, Coyotebanjo (http://cdbaby.com/coyotebanjo), with Randal Bays and Roger Landes), was the winner of Global Rhythm magazine’s May 2006 Song Contest. He was the traditional-music consultant for noted composer Dan Welcher’s orchestral Minstrels of the Kells, bouzouki soloist at its world premiere and toured the American Southwest and Mainland China with the piece, produces the Internet radio program The Celtic Shores (www.kohm.org), and is a founding staff member of ZoukFest. As an instrumentalist, he concertizes on Irish bouzouki, tenor banjo, button accordion, mandolin, slide guitar, saz, lute, gittern, Turkish lavta, and percussion.
Instructor – Bouzouki