Hammond B3 organ master Dr. Lonnie Smith
is a familiar face at the North Sea Jazz Festival. Born in Lackawanna, New York, the musician’s breakthrough as an organist came in George Benson’s quartet. In 1967, Smith decided to form his own group together with Benson. In the years that followed, he recorded dozens of solo albums with renowned guest artists like Joey DeFrancesco, Joe Lovano and King Curtis. Smith is especially known for his soul-jazz style. He didn’t release any albums from 1978 to 1993 but he did continue to tour tirelessly. In the mid-nineties he made a fantastic comeback. His album Boogaloo To Beck: A Tribute
, was a remarkable work in which he paid homage to the music of the then relatively young pop star Beck. The critics rightly praised Smith’s latest album The Healer
(2012) on which he revamps some of his older pieces.