top of page
Nick Smith at the piano





November 29

Berklee College of Music

Bicycling, Weightlifting, Watching Movies



You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.




More About Me...

Nick Smith has been playing music almost his whole life. The exact age that he began playing the piano is unknown, but it was before he was two. His mother thought his oldest brother had been playing the piano, but he told her that Nick had been playing. She was skeptical until Nick climbed back up onto the piano bench and began to play “The Work Song,” by Cannonball Adderley.




Play Hard or Don’t Play At All


      People say I’m hard. Hard to work with, hard to get along with. I simply believe that you have to give your best ALWAYS. When I play music, it’s serious business. I give my ALL. I expect others to do the same. I don’t have a problem letting others know when they have not lived up to THEIR hype. I expect others to let me know when I’m not living up to MY hype.  I’ll work hard with ANYONE that is willing to work hard with me.


     I love to have a good time. I live to laugh. Tell a joke, I’ll probably fall off my chair laughing. When I get up off the floor, I’ll tell you a joke. My request--give me respect and let me know when you can’t keep your promises. I will return the respect and do my utmost to keep my promises. 




    When I was four years old, Duke Ellington and his big band came to town. My father took me to see the show. I was VERY impressed. After the show, we went back stage. I pointed to the piano backstage and told Mr. Ellington that I could play one of those. He told me to keep practicing and one day I would be onstage too. Through the years I developed a deep love and respect for music.


      At the time of my father’s death I considered giving up piano. All my life, my father had been my musical muse. Sometimes gently, other times firmly he guided me in my quest to expand my musical horizon. Then he was gone--and every note was a reminder that he was no longer here. It REALLY hurt to play the music that I had loved all my life. My wife told me that she would support my decision, whatever I decided. She asked me to consider my father’s stated desires--keep playing the piano, love your wife, love your mother. I kept playing the piano. Some songs still make me unbearably sad--but that adds character to the music---and I PLAY ON.



Herbie Hancock

Thelonious Monk

Gonzalo Rubalcaba

McCoy Tyner

Hazel Scott

William ‘Red’ Garland

Wynton Kelly

Art Tatum

Kenny Kirkland

Mary Lou Williams

Billy Childs

Oscar Peterson

Horace Silver

Patrice Rushen

Joe Sample

Jelly Roll Morton

Scott Joplin

Fats Waller

James P. Johnson

Chucho Valdés


NOTE: This list is not in any particular order AND it is a partial list!


bottom of page