Jocelyn B. SMITH


For the last 15 years Jocelyn B. Smith has uplifted audiences throughout Germany with her energetic and expressive voice. Born and raised in New York City, after several tours as a back-up singer for other accomplished artists, Smith made her home in Berlin, Germany. The famous Berlin jazz club Quasimodo became her musical home where she performed regularly to packed houses for more than a decade. Her sophisticated vocal ability and broad musical interests have led Smith to experiment with various musical styles, including funk rock, soul ballads, chansons, and big band jazz. She sang "Circle of Life," the title song on the German version of Disney's movie Lion King, whose soundtrack won a gold record in Germany. For her album Blue Lights & Nylons, which blended world-music with interpretations of well-known tunes by George Gershwin and Kurt Weill, Smith was nominated for the German Jazz Award in 2000.

Jocelyn Bernadette Smith was born on August 22, 1960 in Queens, New York City. At a very early age, Smith began showing great interest in music. When she was five, her parents invested $100--a large sum for the Smiths--in an old piano and started paying for Jocelyn's classical piano lessons. Her piano teacher recognized that his pupil was also a talented singer and got her involved in church choirs. Smith attended the same Forest Hills high school as Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, and Burt Bacharach.

Around age 13 Smith became interested in popular music such as rhythm and blues, soul, funk and jazz, and admired singers like Ella Fitzgerald, John Lee Hooker and B.B. King. However, while other girls went out dancing, Jocelyn's mother made her practice Chopin and Rachmaninoff; while singing hymns in Latin in her Catholic church choir, her heart was full of the more emotional gospel music.

Toured Europe with Lenny White, 1981; sang with Change, the opening act for Rick James, 1982; toured with the Platters through Europe and stayed in Berlin, 1984; played in Berlin's club scene, 1984-1991; produced and published first album River with her band Married Men on her own label, 1991; second album Born of Music drew attention of music critics in Germany, 1992; maxi-single "Kind of Feeling," 1993; signed with Sony/Columbia and produced four maxi singles, 1994; sang title track "Circle Of Life" for German version of Walt Disney's movie Lion King, 1995; produced single "Never Give Up" with German pop star Udo J├╝rgens, several appearances on German TV, 1996; first live album released, 1997; album Blue Light and Nylons with Gershwin/Weill interpretations released, promotion tour through Germany, 1998; toured with German entertainer Harald Juhnke, 1999; appeared in a documentary produced in New York about Kurt Weill, 2000; started working on her album Margarita with love songs of Greek songwriter Mikis Theodorakis, 2000.

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