Lucy Smith (Autumn In Augusta)
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Lucy Smith (Autumn In Augusta)

Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010

Chicago, Illinois, United States
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Americana Soul




"Turntable for One - WMNR Radio"

What a wonderful, musical voice and interesting balance between her voice and music, her heart and her head. Great accompanists too. - Bill Stine

"Radio Adelaide (Australia)"

A deeply moving album which goes straight to the heart and is just beautiful! - Peter Kuller

"Music Zoom (Italy)"

...When she sings, her voice expresses (in these songs) everything that the Afro-american community has experienced. There are the blues, gospel, and traditional songs that she gives her own unique personal stamp. It is a voice that is mighty intense and that in five songs she makes her own, and that makes her rendition of the well known House of the Rising Sun practically an entirely new song. - Vittorio Lo Conte

"Jazz Weekly"

She (Smith) uses her lemonade sweet and fresh voice... to appreciate music that is from the heart and soul of America. - George W. Harris

"All About Jazz"

This is a beautifully delicious, but brief sample of great talent. - C. Michael Bailey

"O's Place Jazz Magazine"

Michael Caskey (d), Marcin Fahmy (piano) and Junius Paul (b) are the trio that has supported Lucy for years and they gel well together. The set is less that 20 minutes but Autumn In Augusta resonates. There is a lot of history and spiritual soul in this set, a short but impactful, earthy session. - D. Oscar Groomes

"Jazz Mostly"

This entertaining and all-too short sample of Lucy Smith’s work finds her digging deeply into the roots of black music. Drawing on gospel music as well as the blues, Lucy imbues her singing with a vital understanding of core elements of jazz. Singing with a strong, tough-edged vocal sound... Lucy’s committed take on familiar songs refreshes the music and makes the listener long for more. - Bruce Crowther

"KCSM Radio"

I’ll air it again and again…it’s a remarkable CD. - Pete Fallico

"Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange (FAME)"

...The most arresting cut is Smith's rendition of House of the Rising Sun. I thought I'd never be able to hear that tune again after ten billion covers, but Lucy got it completely right like no one else yet has: the verses tell a deep story, and she invests it with a literary narrative dwelling deep within her. Where once I heard a set of blues chord changes and repeating stanzas of refrain, I now "read" the song like a story out of Faulkner, Steinbeck, or Fitzgerald. That's magical, y'all, and rare even for the innovations of the jazz mode itself because it reaches outside the playbook to shake hands with great brains in other fields……and Songs is a "book" I'm going to read again just as soon as I get this review off to the editor. - Mark S. Tucker

"Improvisation Nation"

If you don’t feel better after listening to Lucy Smith’s powerful vocals on these 5 songs, you never will! Especially old standards like “Wayfaring Stranger“… what’s most noticeable about Lucy’s voice is that it’s all natural – no hint of being rushed, or afraid – & Marcin Fahmy’s piano/keyboard work is superb – just like church (in a way). Her vocal on “How Long, How Long Blues” is among the best I’ve ever heard, making it my favorite on the CD. I give Lucy & crew a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED “EQ” (energy quotient) rating is 4.98 (very high for female jazz vocals). - Rotcod Zzaj (Dick Metcalf)

"Deep Roots Magazine"

And a proud mama she would be...Smith’s powerful, taut readings of an emotionally resonant program bearing the title "Songs My Mama Would Like"...offers a patina of hope amidst misery, which makes it all hurt so good. - David McGee

"Chicago Tribune"

A "gifted young vocalist." (Stop-Time Ensemble review) - Howard Reich

"Richard Steele"

With a mature and confident voice, Lucy covers the spectrum -- offering jazz, blues and some funky R&B. Her arrangements are artful, the songwriting smart and there are some wonderful surprises. So listen and enjoy! - Chicago Public Radio

"D. Oscar Groomes"

Lucy's got a powerful rich voice, no doubt. She is singing with a confidence that makes us anxious to listen. It is an appealing signature placed over tight R&B on natural instruments. Smith sings a mix of freshened covers and originals. There's both soul and gospel on "Go Down Moses" with a solo from Greg Ward (sax). We also liked "Passing For Normal" and "I Ain't Got Nothin' But the Blues". This is a voice to be reckoned with! - O's Place Jazz Newsletter

"Shirley Jahad"

The rich, deep, Lucy Smith sound seeps down in your soul and stirs it forward. Whether she's singing about love lost or newly found, she moves your heart to a warm “place in the sun.” - CA Journalist

"Metromix - Dan Kening"

vocalist Lucy Smith's mellifluous smooth as butter vocals...immediately grab your attention.
(SWAG review)
- Metromix

"Chicago Sounds Lush with Lucy Smith"

"American Idol" must really get under Lucy Smith's skin. The show, which rewards the "talents" of singers with dubious musical training and education, is antithetical to hard-working vocalists like Ms. Smith. She has earned both a Bachelors degree in music from Columbia College in Chicago and a master's in jazz studies (Vocal Performance) from Roosevelt University.

She has been a vocalist for blues and jazz bands since the early 1990's, is the leader and arranger for the Lucy Smith Quartet/Trio, has appeared in a variety of plays, including "The Vagina Monologues," been featured in music segments for television shows, and has performed at Chicago venues such as the HotHouse, Park West, Pete Miller's, House of Blues (Foundation Room) and Speakeasy Supper Club.

Lucy Smith sounds as if she would be as comfortable playing to a packed House of Blues Crowd as she would to 12 people at The Green Mill on a Tuesday night. Her vocals maintain complexities while sounding effortless.

Ms. Smith's quivering intonations on the gospel cover "Go Down Moses" provide emotive emphasis on the cry for freedom, while the percussions, trumpet and piano of her accompanying band punctuate the sentiment when Smith declares, "Let my people go."

On "Kiela," her voice permeates the room through black speakers and enters the soul through aural osmosis. "Kiela" is funky without losing its jazz base, containing the right mix of instrumental experimentation and structural songwriting, thrusting a bebop breakdown between lyrics like: “an endless show of lives with many voices/she knows their days are made from simple choices.” Well, Lucy made the right choices when she picked her backing band-they superbly accent her smooth voice.

Playful, mellow and full of soul, Lucy Smith is virtually a Chicago institution. Fans of jazz, blues, funk and r&b should check out for information on her upcoming shows.

-- Brian Murphy, Evanston Roundtable
- Evanston Roundtable - Brian Murphy

"Radio Airplay for"

WBEZ – FM (91.5) – Chicago, IL

WHPK - FM (88.5) - Chicago, IL

2-RRR-FM (88.5) – Sydney, Australia

KCLC - FM (89.1) - St. Louis, MO

Jazz FM (88.4) - Mosina, Poland

Radio Campus (106.6) - Lille, France

KVMR (89.5/105.1) - Nevada City/Sacramenta, CA

WHIL-FM (91.3) - Mobile, AL (91.1/91.6) Pisa, Livorno & Lucca (Italy)

BRTO Radio (105.8/87.5) – Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands

Radio 2 (94.1) - Skopje, Macedonia

Cairns FM (89.1) - Cairns, Queensland (Australia)

MDM Radio (101.1) - Mont de Marsan (France)

Radio ARA (103.3/105.2) Luxembourg

STAR-FM (100.3) - St. Helens, Tasmania (AUS)

TripleH-FM (96.5) - Horsham, Victoria (AUS)

Radio Vilafant (107.3) - Vilafant/Girona, Spain

TripleU-FM (104.5/92.3/99.7) - Nowra, New South Wales (AUS)

MKMK Radio - Minsk, Belarus

2TENFM (89.7 & 98.7) - Tenterfield New South Wales & Stanthorpe Queensland Australia

WRTC (89.3) - Hartford, Connecticut

Radio Kanal Ratte (104.5) - Schopfheim, Germany

KZSC - FM (88.1) - Santa Cruz, CA

CFBX - FM (92.5) - Kamloops, BC, Canada

Dutch Coast Radio - Netherlands
- Movin' On

"Leon Reyes"

Soulful, funky and heartfelt describes the music of Lucy Smith. Rich textures and colorful yet comical beats blend the music as well. Did I say Comical? Listen to the well-done I-N-F-I-D-E-L-I-T-Y, serious yet comical. A great musical contrast and not to mention, daring as well. Thank you Lucy! - Reyes KVMR Radio 89.5 FM Nevada City/Sacramento CA

"Robin Elks"

Lucy Smith scores 9/10 from this presenter. Every now and then someone comes along who takes an extraordinary well known song like "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin" and just doesn't cover it. Her version becomes a total musical and vocal reinterpretation. Also her versions of "Chase The Clouds Away" and "I Ain't Got Nothin' But The Blues" are right on the money. But her talent doesn't stop there. Lucy is also no slouch as a songwriter and arranger. Her mature honey smooth vocal style seeps into the mind and soul of the listener, and her superb backing band provide the finishing touches. I hope that Lucy Smith is "Movin' On" right into the studio for her next outing.
Robin On The Radio 2TENFM (89.7 & 98.7) Tenterfield New South Wales & Stanthorpe Queensland Australia. - 2TENFM, Australia

"Gregg Shapiro"

"Chicago-based jazz vocalist Lucy Smith is both a talented songwriter and a gifted interpreter of other people's songs. Nowhere is that more obvious than in her splendid rendition of 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin',' the opening track on her disc "Movin' On" ( Chuck Mangione's 'Chase the Clouds Away' and Bob Telson's 'Calling You' also benefit from Smith's technique. Smith originals, including the jazzy 'All I Meant,' the powerful 'Passing for Normal' and the hilarious country cheatin' song 'I-N-F-I-D-E-L-I-T-Y' are truly inspired and deserve to be heard by everyone." - Chicago Free Press


“Singing Christmas” LMS (2016) - Lucy Smith Quartet, Chicago, Singer/Writer/Arranger

 “Songs My Mama Would Like” LMS (2013) - Autumn in Augusta, Chicago. Singer/Writer/Arranger

 “Woke Up Black” film (2011) - Original Music

 “Hannah Free” film (2009) – score contribution

 “Movin’ On” LMS (2006) - Chicago. Singer/Writer/Arranger

“The Best of Pow-Wow Wednesdays” – Blackout Records (2003) - Materville Studios, Chicago, IL. Vocalist

 Producer/Performer/Host: SundaySongs with Lucy Smith (2002-2003) - Original music showcase at the Hothouse (Chicago).

 “Chameleon Voice” – b.d.t. (Brian Tell – Busy Flower Productions) (2001) - Silver Tortoise Soundlab, Ann Arbor, MI. Vocalist

 “SWAG II” – SWAG (1999) - Fatbaby Studios, Forest Park, IL. Singer/Writer/Arranger

 “Arts Watch” – WTTW Ch. 11, Chicago, IL (1999) - Featured in Ensemble Stop-Time Segment

 “Four More of What You Asked For” – SWAG (1998) - Fatbaby Studios, Park Forest, IL. Singer/Writer/Arranger

 “Love, Put on Your Faces” – Patricia Barber (1998) - Chicago Recording Company, Chicago, IL. Appears on “Modern Cool”. Co-arranged and sang choral accompaniment.



Lucy Smith is a Chicago­­-based singer, composer and bandleader. Her quartet frequents the Chicago jazz scene and her musical collaborations include works for theatre, film and spoken word productions.  Lucy’s latest CD, Singing Christmas, was released in 2016. Another of her music projects, Autumn in Augusta (AIA), is a folk, blues, gospel and soul-fused tribute to her mother.  AIA’s first CD release, Songs My Mama Would Like, garnered rave reviews and Lucy and her band were featured at the 2015 Chicago Jazz Festival. She is currently the music director for Chicago’s Fourth Presbyterian’s “Jazz at Four” service and is the producer/coordinator for the music stage at the Artists of the Wall Festival in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. Lucy performs often for organizations working on social and economic justice issues.

"Autumn in Augusta is a sly smile, a deep chuckle and a fierce belief that everything is going to be alright. Autumn in Augusta is a tribute project for and about my mother and her music.  It is music I grew up listening to and rebelling against.  Now I find my mother and her music in just about everything I do.  It turns out she had pretty awesome taste!  My mom, Julia Ann Smith, was born and raised in Augusta, Georgia and made her way to Chicago during the Great Migration.  She introduced me to Josh White, Nina Simone, Mariam Makeba, James Brown and Trini Lopez, just to name a few. I am forever grateful."

Lucy Smith was born and raised on the southside of Chicago. As leader/arranger for the Lucy Smith Quartet/Quintet and as singer/songwriter for the jazz-infused Passing for Normal/Swag, Lucy has led a myriad of musical combinations exploring the worlds of traditional jazz, blues, gospel and other popular music.  Inspired to make her passion her life, Lucy completed vocal performance and jazz studies under the tutelage of pianist and jazz vocalist Patricia Barber, and trumpeter Orbert Davis.  As the music director for Chicago's Fourth Presbyterian's Jazz at Four service, she creates a jazz infused paradigm for worship while rearranging centuries old hymns and keeping alive the legacy of sacred jazz music. Her other music director work includes projects at the Park West Theatre, Goodman Theatre and at Steppenwolf Theatre where she shared the stage with blues legend Koko Taylor and others. Lucy has composed and performed music for the feature film Hannah Free and the documentary Woke Up Black.  She makes music with many musicians who have Chicago roots, including Amr Marcin Fahmy, Michael Caskey, Marcus Evans, Bryan Doherty, Greg Ward II, Junius Paul, Joshua Ramos, Tom Vaitsas, Ernie Adams, Patrick Mulcahy, and Robert Irving III. Lucy was lead vocalist for the Center for Black Music Research's Stop-Time Ensemble and the Concord Orchestra.

"As I make my own music...composing, arranging and performing, I am earnestly committed and pay homage to music that constantly feeds and informs jazz.  Roots music -- music born in America -- blues, gospel, folk and ultimately jazz.  We speak and live in blues and folk -- articulating struggle in regional languages and dialects.  Both of these music forms often provide audacious and timely comic relief while gospel and jazz are outlets for release and infinite expression. My mother schooled me by playing Josh White's John Henry over and over again and Nina Simone's tribute to Martin Luther King. They informed me musically and politically. When I select music for this project, Autumn in Augusta, the requirements are clear."


2012 - Present:

The Lucy Smith Quartet/Quintet - 1992 to present

Traditional and contemporary sounds. Leader, Arranger, vocals

Lucy Smith's Autumn in Augusta - Leader/Arranger/Vocals - 2012 to present

Jazz at Four at Fourth Presbyterian Church/Chicago - Music Director & Vocals/ 2010 to present (weekly jazz service)

Artists of the Wall Festival (Chicago) - Producer-Coordinator/Music Stage/2011 to present

Chicago Bound: The Great Migration of the Blues -  Writer, Music Director and Vocals/ 2013 to present 

Conflicting Harmonies (Conversations on Cuba in Music and Words) -  Consultant/2007: Goodman Theatre

Music and Memories Music Director & Vocals/2007 - Steppenwolf Theatre (Traffic Jam Series)

Band Members