Hal Smith began playing drums in 1963. He heard Ben Pollack, Nick Fatool, Wayne Jones and Fred Higuera in live performance and they are still four of his major influences. Later, Hal heard Minor “Ram” Hall’s recordings with Kid Ory’s Creole Jazz Band and became interested in New Orleans style drumming. In addition to Minor Hall (and his brother Fred “Tubby” Hall), Hal’s favorite New Orleans drummers are Baby Dodds, Andrew Hilaire, Zutty Singleton, Cie’ Frazier, Paul Barbarin and Ray Bauduc. He has also studied recordings of Sid Catlett, Dave Tough, Jo Jones, Vic Berton, Johnny Wells, Stan King, Harry Dial, Morey Feld and many others. Currently Hal lives in Searcy, Arkansas and travels across the U.S. for musical engagements. He works frequently with Tim Laughlin’s New Orleans All-Stars, the Kris Tokarski Trio, Banu Gibson’s New Orleans Hot Jazz Orchestra and Grammy Award winner Floyd Domino’ All-Stars (Austin). At the present time, Hal’s own bands are The New Orleans Night Owls, the Mortonia Seven and On The Levee Jazz Band.