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Stuff Smith - Violinist

An American violinist.

Smith was, along with Stéphane Grappelli and Joe Venuti, one of jazz music's preeminent violinists of the swing era.

After moving to New York he had a regular gig with his sextet at the Onyx Club starting in 1935 and also performed with Coleman Hawkins as well as with younger musicians such as Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, and later, Sun Ra.

After being signed to Vocalion in 1936, he had a big hit with "I'se A Muggin'" and was billed as Stuff Smith and his Onyx Club Boys. He recorded for Vocalion in 1936, Decca in 1937 and Varsity in 1939-1940.

Smith was critical of the bebop movement, although his own style represented a transition between swing and bebop.

Played in New York Clubs in the thirties with a style in a humoristic way not unlike that of Fats Waller.

In the mid sixties he took part in the’ Violin Summit’ a concert recording session in Switzerland.

Stuff Smith is one of the 57 jazz musicians photographed in the 1958 portrait A Great Day in Harlem.

Smith moved to Copenhagen in 1965, performed actively in Europe, and died in Munich in 1967.

All information may be obtained at the web site address above.

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