Marvin Smith

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Marvin "Smitty" Smith (born June 24, 1961) is an American jazz drummer and composer.

Marvin Smith was born in Waukegan, Illinois, where his father, Marvin Sr., was a drummer. As a result, "Smitty," as he is called by bandmates, was exposed to drumming at a young age, receiving formal musical training at the age of three.[1]

Smith, an alumnus of Berklee,[2] has recorded 200 albums with various artists, as well as two solo albums.[3]

He also has toured with Sting, Dave Holland, Sonny Rollins, Willie Nelson and with Steve Coleman.[3] He is a former member of The New York Jazz Quartet,[1] and is in a band with Kevin Eubanks, fellow Berklee alum and Tonight Show band member.

Smith was the drummer on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno from 30 January 1995[3] to the show's end on 29 May 2009, and the start of the second incarnation starting March 1, 2010. He was also drummer during the entire run of The Jay Leno Show.

Smith is often an in-studio guest on The Loose Cannons sports radio program, on Los Angeles' KLAC-AM, often when the Tonight Show is on a vacation break.

Marvin Smith is married to Kimberly Brown-Smith of Greensboro, North Carolina.


As leader[edit]

  • Keeper of the Drums (Concord Jazz, 1987)
  • The Road Less Traveled (Concord Jazz, 1989)

As sideman[edit]

With Hamiet Bluiett

  • Ebu (Soul Note, 1984)

With Igor Butman

  • Falling Out (Impromptu, 1993)

With Don Byron

With Steve Coleman and M-Base

With Robin Eubanks

With Art Farmer

With Benny Golson

With Gunter Hampel New York Orchestra

With Dave Holland

With Andy Jaffe

With the Art Farmer/Benny Golson Jazztet

With Carmen Lundy

  • Jazz & the New Songbook: Live at the Madrid (CD and DVD, Afrasia, 2005)

With David Murray

With Sonny Rollins

  • Sonny Rollins Plays G-Man and Other Music for the Soundtrack of the Robert Mugge Film "Saxophone Colossus" (Milestone, 1987)

With Michel Sardaby

  • Going Places (Sound Hills, 1989)

With Archie Shepp

With Superblue

With Harvie Swartz, Mick Goodrick, and John Abercrombie

  • Arrival (Novus, 1992)

With Gebhard Ullmann, Andreas Willers, and Bob Stewart

  • Suite Noire (Nabel, 1990)
  • With Terence Blanchard & Donald Harrison
  • New York Second Line (The George Wein Collection)


  1. ^ a b "Drummerworld: Marvin Smith". Retrieved 3 September 2006. 
  2. ^ "Berklee Alumni Website". Retrieved 3 September 2006. 
  3. ^ a b c "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno - Biographies". Retrieved 3 September 2006.