Mike Smith

Mike started playing Drums at the age of 9. He joined a Youth Big Band in the Oxford area when he was around 11 (which was co run by his father). At 13 he started attending rehearsals for the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and at the age of 15 became the regular drummer. He stayed with the Orchestra for 5 years, during that time he worked with many great soloists and singers from the UK and the USA, namely, John Dankworth, Cleo Lane, John Williams (the guitarist), Shorty Rogers to name but a few. In 1987 Mike Joined the BBC Big Band and BBC Radio Orchestra. He remained with the BBC up until 1997 and during that time he had the great honour of working with some world class composers/arrangers, soloists and singers; most notably, Robert Farnon, Angela Morley, Ronnie Hazlehurst, George Shearing, Georgie Fame, Madeline Bell, Bobby Shew and many others. During that period in his career Mike also started working on the freelance session scene working on TV shows such as Wogan, A Song for Europe and several Royal TV Gala Performances. Numerous jingles for TV and Radio and commercial recordings for such artists as Larry Adler, Evelyn Glennie, Sting, Elton John and the Spice Girls. For several years since the mid 90’s Mike has also been the regular drummer with Dame Shirley Bassey, this has taken him to Australia and New Zealand, the USA, the Far East and Europe. One of the highlights still has to be working at Carnegie Hall in New York!! During this time Mike worked on several West End shows including, Hot Shoe Shuffle, Beauty and the Beast, The Witches of Eastwick; as well as deputising in Mamma Mia, Chicago and more recently Guys and Dolls. In the last 10 years or so Mike has recorded music for several TV dramas, including Lovejoy, Ballykissangel, Soldier Soldier, The Brief, Midsomer Murders. Music for films include The Lion and the Darkness and Fierce Creatures, King Arthur, Valiant and Mrs Henderson Presents and The Corpse Bride. Mike has been regular drummer with the Syd Lawrence Orchestra touring the UK and Europe since August 2003 whilst keeping up his other freelance commitments.