Improvising a Life: a Jazz Odyssey

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Arts Habitat Presents
Jazz Musician
Biff Smith

at Arts in Progress

  Museum of Monterey - Stanton Center

5 Customs House Plaza, Monterey 

Tuesday, April 22, 7:00 to 9:00 P.M.

$5 Admission Fee

2 hours free parking at Fisherman's

Wharf lot with local ID


Arts Habitat will present Jazz Musician Biff Smith, at Arts in Progress (AIP) on Tuesday, April 22, for a presentation and performance entitled "Improvising a Life: A Jazz Odyssey."

AIP takes place the fourth Tuesday of each month from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The event takes place at the auditorium of the  Museum of Monterey - Stanton Center, 5 Customs House Plaza, Monterey. AIP is open to the public, the admission fee is $5 and complimentary refreshments are served. The first and last half hours are devoted to socializing and community building.  The program runs about an hour, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.



Biff will talk briefly about becoming a jazz musician as well as what is unique about jazz. He will also discuss what inspires composing (deadlines) and how one can continue to be a jazz musician (a day gig). He will perform his compositions with some of his fellow musicians any of whom will answer questions from the audience about what they are doing on stage.



Biff Smith has led a dual--some might say schizophrenic-career as an English teacher and a jazz musician. In the former incarnation, Biff has taught at private schools in California, on the east coast, and in the U.K. His longest stint, thirty-seven years and counting, has been at the Stevenson School in Pebble Beach where he currently teaches. 




As a musician, Biff has performed for more than fifty years, taught private piano

lessons, conducted the Jazz Lab and Big Bands at Monterey Peninsula College, recorded two albums under his own name, Jazz Originals: The Biff Smith Quartet,and Biff Smith: Solo Piano, and been on the board of the Monterey Jazz Festival.

He is also one of the original members of Along Came Betty, a Monterey-based quintet founded in 1998 that plays in the Monterey area, as well as Big Sur, Santa Cruz, and has appeared four times at the Monterey Jazz Festival. The group has recorded five albums, Along Came Betty, Apple Brown Betty, Brad Mehldau's  Monogrammed Guest Towels, The Secret Parts Fortune, and Smells Like Christmas with Biff as the pianist and principal composer. Since 1992, Biff has been an instructor in the Five-Week Summer Performance Program at the Berklee College of Music in Boston where he teaches music theory, musicianship and directs ensembles. He also puts on an annual concert of his originals in the summer with fellow Berklee faculty members. In his spare time, he grades papers.