About this Video
Cecilia’s Talk features her work as a Jazz artist as well as edited examples of artistic video pieces from her multimedia theater productions. Cecilia Smith’s work is centered on her unique understanding of Jazz improvisation and her ability to speak to and emotionally move people through music. Having this ability has caused her to look at the world from unique perspectives. Cecilia wants observers to think about the world from different viewpoints in terms of how we see and engage with each other through class, race and culture; as well as to consider individuals with an array of disabilities who are challenged on the fringe of mainstream society in more inclusive ways. Cecilia asks the observers to consider how they engage in this new technological world without forgetting our humanity. With the excitement of new technology, Cecilia’s work brings together human experiences and unites them.
About the Speaker
Cecilia Smith has performed across the United States and internationally as a leading vibraphonist of the four-mallet technique. She is an avid composer and arranger with six internationally released albums, and has recorded and performed with renowned artists such as Gary Bartz, Greg Osby, Cassandra Wilson, Milt Hinton, Randy Weston, Marian McPartland (“Piano Jazz” NPR), Donald Harrison, Billy Pierce, Mulgrew Miller, and Cecil Bridgewater. She has presented throughout the United States and internationally, including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She received a Joyce Award for her multimedia work Crossing Bridges, and is currently developing a multimedia work titled Decisive Moments in collaboration with Blue Man Group video artist and filmmaker Kevin Frech. The multimedia concepts and the educational component of Decisive Moments will be performed at TEDxBEACONSTREET. She is the 2016 Ziegfeld Club Elizabeth Swados Inspirational Awardee for her work as a teaching artist. She is the Artistic Director of the Mary Lou Williams Resurgence Project, for which she received a National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpiece Award, and is also a teaching artist for a number of non-profit arts organizations and social service agencies. She is a graduate and formal faculty member of Berklee College of Music, and currently lives in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, NY.
Press Quote for Cecilia’s recording: DARK TRIUMPH
…”This is a mix of storytelling and music of the highest order, Ellingtonian in scope and magnificence, unmistakably American, a tale that should be included in every school’s curriculum. Cecilia Smith’s Dark Triumph is a compellingly honest look at an underdog; an everyday person who overcame sadly imposed societal disadvantages to travel in spectacular fashion in her journey. A story of uplifting beauty; a masterpiece.”
— All About Jazz