The Short Story
I’ve done it all: jazz, indie-rock, hip hop, commercials. I’ve been a composer, producer, instrumentalist, arranger. I’ve travelled, built studios, moved studios. I’ve played woodwinds, keyboards, bass, electronics. Through it all I like to think that I have maintained a strong identity and vision as an artist. I plan to do more of the same.
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The Long Story
Based in Seattle, WA, Charlie Smith is a sought-after composer, producer and instrumentalist.
Beginning his professional music career in Eastern Washington at the age of 15 Charlie made his way to Seattle in the late 90s. With deep roots in jazz, Charlie’s first projects in the northwest included small and large ensemble works, including the Charlie Smith Circle, which ran 2001-2005. At 22 years old, with a Bachelor of Music degree from Cornish College of the Arts, Charlie began writing music for the 11-piece jazz orchestra, which featured such esteemed members as Julian Priester, Mark Taylor and Dawn Clement, Evan Flory-Barnes, among others. The group released one record Ahead and Behind (Conduit Records 2003) and performed a monthly residency at Tula’s Jazz Club.
In addition to his compositions with the Circle, Charlie has worked with Victor Noriega (saxophone & album production), Josh Ottum (live band and horn arrangements for Cheap Lullaby/Tapete), and Aqueduct (horn-arrangements, co-producer / Barsuk Records). From 2006-2009 Charlie based his composition/recording studio out of Ballard where he worked on music for commercials, including Volvo, Taco Bell and MTV, among others. He has also composed for Dance Contemporary and the Pacific NW Ballet, along with other music and multi-disciplinary projects where he has performed keyboards, woodwinds, bass, guitar and electronics.
In 2008 Charlie joined indie-rock band Throw Me The Statue where he started in the horn section before moving to bass and keys. Together they have performed in 9 countries, including Japan, the UK and Scandinavia, and 25 states. They have performed in venues such as the Paramount, Moore, and Neumos (Seattle), Mercury Lounge (NY), The Casbah (San Diego), and The Echo (LA), and have opened for notables such as Cake, Wye Oak, Bishop Allen and Robin Pecknold. Charlie also had a major hand in shaping the Throw Me The Statue LP, Creaturesque, produced by Phil Ek.
In 2010 Charlie, along with his partner in crime Robb Davidson, opened Studio Nels based in Pioneer Square, working with artists including Slow Skate, Lusine, KAIROS, Pillar Point, Cock and Swan, Truckasaurus, Throw Me the Statue, Katie Kate, Dawn Clement. His newest endeavors have been in the Seattle Hip Hop community; serving as producer, co-writer and beatmaker.
Currently, Studio Nels has moved to Greenwood and partnered with legendary recording studio, Avast. Charlie is working as a composer and producer while he explores his new obsession, modular synthesis.