Tommy Smith remains full of creative ideas and continues to receive recognition – an Honory Doctorate of Letters from Caledonian University in Glasgow followed his BBC Jazz Awards’ Heart of Jazz award in 2008 and he was voted winner of the Best Woodwind title at the inaugural Scottish Jazz Awards in 2009. It is clear that he is going to continue creating music of lasting value. His journey across more than two decades packed with original and inspiring music has demonstrated conclusively that his is a singular musical voice, and one which has much still to say.
His tireless work in jazz education, which has included conceiving the curriculum for the short-lived Scottish Jazz Conservatory and teaching individual students, continues and his campaigning for a jazz presence in Scottish further education was rewarded when the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow appointed Smith head of its newly formed jazz department, which opened in October 2009. In this, as in every area of artistic endeavour, Smith will be unstinting in his commitment and will be looking forward to sending fully prepared graduates out on the professional jazz musician’s road that he has graced with such distinction since taking those youthful Giant Strides.