Wil Smith is a Brooklyn-based composer and performer whose work embraces a variety of traditional and popular styles, integrating classical techniques with cutting-edge technology, theatrics, and improvisation. He plays piano, keyboards, pipe organ, and Hammond B3 organ, and is a founding member of the experimental rock band Passenger Fish.
Smith’s original compositions have been performed by internationally acclaimed ensembles and soloists, including Dither electric guitar quartet, MIVOS string quartet, the California Ear Unit, flutist Margaret Lancaster, cellist Jody Redhage, and soprano Mellissa Hughes. His music has been presented by venues across the US, including REDCAT Theater and The Wulf in Los Angeles, the MATA Interval series at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, the 12 Nights festival in Miami, and the Bang On A Can summer music festival at MassMOCA. In addition, his music has been recorded on New Amsterdam Records, featured on WNYC’s Spinning on Air and New Sounds, and played on WQXR’s Q2 radio.
Called an “intrepid keyboardist” by the New York Times, Smith is active as a performer on the new music scene. He recently played piano in Cynthia Hopkins’s This Clement World at St. Ann’s Warehouse, performed on keyboards in Corey Dargel’s Hold Yourself Together in the American Composer Orchestra’s Sonic Festival and on the Brooklyn Philharmonic’s Music off the Walls concert, and performed on Hammond B3 organ with Present Music in Milwaukee premiering Jerome Kitzke’s new large-scale theatrical work, Buffalo Nation. In early 2012, he commissioned new works for pipe organ by composers Paula Matthusen, Orlando Jacinto Garcia, Corey Dargel, Eric km Clark, Irene Buckley, and Omar Surillo, which he premiered in multimedia concerts at the New Music Miami festival and First Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, collaborating with video artist Nathan Selikoff.
Smith is the founder and curator of the critically acclaimed Brooklyn-based new-music series, Music at First. He is also a member of the experimental theater company, Laboratory Theater.