New York-based drummer and percussionist, Warren I. Smith, (WIS) is an experienced composer and favored choice in studio sessions, Broadway pit bands, and live on stage. He has a long history of pitching in on various masterworks, from recordings of soul queen Aretha Franklin to the avant-garde saxophone maverick and fascinating composer Sam Rivers. As an Educator, he taught for forty years, inspiring new generations in NYC public schools and higher education institutions. As a performer, he is one of the most sought-after musicians of African-American Classical music.
Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1934 Warren Smith was the descendant of musical parents. His whole family was involved in professional music. His father was a Saxophonist, teacher and repairman. His mother was a Harpist. Warren’s relatives were also involved on both sides of the family.
Warren was educated in the Maywood, Illinois school system and received a B. S. in Music Education from the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign in 1957. He moved to New York City to receive his Masters of Music in Percussion from Manhattan School of Music in 1958 and continued his professional career.
Since that time, Warren has spent the last six decades performing and teaching in New York and all over the world. He has performed more than 30 Broadway productions beginning with the “West Side Story” in 1958, served as a Staff Musician for the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) and recorded with countless prominent artists of all musical styles.
Warren’s teaching experience includes 10 years in the New York City Board of Education, three years at Adelphi University and 25 years at SUNY Old Westbury.
He has performed and recorded in all areas of popular, symphonic and contemporary Music and continue to be active, performing with his own “Composers Workshop Ensemble”. Currently, Warren continues to tour, perform, and record with a variety of Performing Artists throughout the world.