Grant Smith is one of the brightest up-and-comers on the trombone in NYC today. Hailing from Charlotte, NC, Grant completed a master’s in jazz arts at Manhattan School of Music in 2018, following a bachelor’s in music performance from Appalachian State University in 2016. Whether as an improviser, section musician, composer, arranger, or educator, Grant’s unique voice shines through in every musical endeavor he takes on.
Grant has performed at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, and Aaron Davis Hall as well as countless smaller venues in and around NYC. He has studied with Steve Turre, Luis Bonilla, and Marshall Gilkes and has performed alongside such artists as Joe Lovano, Stefon Harris, Jim McNeely, Phil Woods, and Jeff Coffin. In 2016, Grant was the first-place winner of the Texas State Trombone Symposium Jazz Solo Competition, winning a Rath trombone as a prize. On a more regular basis, Grant plays in the Stan Rubin Orchestra, the J.C. Hopkins Biggish Band, and the Seth Weaver Big Band, among others.
Grant is the co-leader of multiple creative ventures. Alongside Atlanta-based drummer Matt Hendler, he makes up one half of electronic jazz fusion duo Two Non-Androids, in which he also plays keyboard and contributes programming in Ableton. Grant also co-leads [fuse], a modern jazz fusion sextet featuring some of the most creative improvisers from Manhattan School of Music’s jazz program, alongside saxophonist John O’Leary. In addition, Grant is the co-leader with Beserat Tafesse of SassaBrass, a brass band featuring a variety of original music and covers spanning funk, R&B, and pop from the past several decades. He serves as a major composer for all of these projects as well as a for-hire arranger for others such as the J.C. Hopkins Biggish Band and Alla Ray.
In addition to performing and composing, Grant has also worked as a music educator. In December of 2017, Grant gave a masterclass at Appalachian State University on working as a freelance musician in NYC, jazz improvisation, and choosing a graduate program. He has also served as a big band instructor at New York Jazz Academy since February 2019 and has occasionally filled in as an instructor for the Manhattan School of Music Outreach Program.