Joel LaRue Smith
Pianist • Composer • Arranger • Educator

Joel LaRue Smith’s music is a rich blend of Jazz and Afro Caribbean dance rhythms and harmonies. His songs and compositions, often combine infectious Cuban dance forms such as timba, mambo, songo, mozambique, cha-cha and rhumba with compelling bebop, hard bop and swing melody lines. This music will ignite the passion for anyone to dance, and give each listener great melodies to sing and remember.

September is the month for the season of fall (autumn). The fall is a time in which a new period of learning and harvest begins. Autumn marks the end of the long, hot summer, and offers us the opportunity to renew our family, social, and professional commitments. September brings us new colors on the leaves of trees and ushers in the fresh cool breezes that will cause the same leaves to … fall. Music is like life, which is like the seasons — it is based on cycles. The compositions on “September’s Child” convey a certain amount of stylistic authenticity (staying in the correct clave) and strict song form. I have chosen to honor tradition while simultaneously bringing new influences into the music. There is no need to meticulously duplicate what the heroes of Latin Jazz have already done. My intent is to pay homage to the contribution of our past creators of this outstanding music, but to move forward and hopefully create something bold and new. The music on this CD is a combination of seven original compositions and four original arrangements of compositions written by Mario Bauza, Pedro Flores, Armando Peraza and Wayne Shorter.