Part arena rocker, part jazz master, all legend. Now an icon of modern jazz drumming, Steve Smith has recorded with every kind of act imaginable and was once the main man behind Journey. He was born in Brockton, Massachusetts in 1954 and began playing the drums as a nine-year-old. After high school, Smith decided to attend the prestigious Berklee College Of Music in Boston, where he studied under the great Alan Dawson.
During and after his education at Berklee, Smith played with numerous bands, including The Fringe, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Ronnie Montrose. His big break came when he was asked to play drums for rock legends Journey in 1978. The single “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” off Smith's first recording with the band, 1979's Evolution, became a hit, and the band began touring extensively. Smith's drumming graces most of the band's albums, including multi-platinum sellers Departure (1980), Escape (1981), and Frontiers (1983). Smith's career with Journey lasted from 1978–’85, and picked up again for the band's reunion from 1995–’98. While much of Smith’s training was rooted in jazz, he plays to the classic arena-rock sound within Journey. His sound is full and supremely relaxed, with just a touch of his jazzy tendencies.
In addition to playing with Journey, Steve has also devoted much of his skills to his jazz-fusion group, Vital Information. The group has played together since 1983 and released a dozen albums. While the height of Smith's fame stems from his days with Journey, he is at his best while playing with Vital Information. His drumming is both precise and free-flowing, and rooted in many cultural traditions, for which he displays an almost scholarly appreciation and knowledge. With Vital Information, Smith has shown his adeptness at playing comfortably in odd time signatures and utilizing highly complex fills. He has always been known for his soloing abilities. Aside from his flagship bands, Smith has also worked with artists such as Mariah Carey, Zucchero, Savage Garden, Bryan Adams, and Andrea Bocelli.