Stage is set for a homecoming
A JERSEY drummer who has played with the likes of Joss Stone, Sting and Marillion is heading back to the Island after spending 15 years travelling the world playing music.
Jason Smith, a former De La Salle student who has been using London as his base, wants to return to Jersey and spend more time with his family.
Mr Smith said that his aim when he does return in the next few months is to use his experience to help young drummers and establish a venue in the island where local and overseas acts can perform.
Highlights of his career so far include a recording session with Tori Amos and performing with Sheryl Crow, Take That and Rod Stewart. Touring with Jesse Wood – son of the legendary Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones – and a full UK tour with Joss Stone are also on his CV. He appeared on TV on Later With Jools Holland and met Robbie Williams, who was on the same show.
Meeting high-profile musicians has become the norm for Mr Smith, for he played to a crowd of 20,000 when he supported Jamiroquai in Moscow and St Petersburg.
He also supported Sting at a concert at the Piazza Duomo in Milan and has travelled to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa playing alongside bands including the Kaiser Chiefs, Editors, Maximo Park, Goldfrapp, the Streets and the Kooks.
When he initially moved to London in 1993 he studied at the Drumtech Drum Teaching Studios in London before starting work as a drum teacher and drummer for various bands.
Speaking about why he wants to return to Jersey after such a colourful and varied career across the world, he said: 'I miss my family and friends and after living in London for 15 years I have missed the quality of life in Jersey.
'It was really nice to see that the sense of community was still here when I came back to the Island this summer. The music scene in the Island is certainly a lot stronger than when I left and there are many young bands now. We just need more places to play live and bring more bands over from overseas.'
Talking about how his passion for music developed at an early age, he said: 'When I was 16 I started taking lessons with drum teacher Tommy Cunliffe, who taught many of the Island's drummers at the time, and his love and enthusiasm for the instrument were contagious.
'I wanted to play the drums from a very young age – before I had a drum kit I could often be found bashing on my mum's upturned pots and pans with wooden spoons.'
Before coming back to Jersey permanently, Jason wants to bring his latest cover band, Big Dog,
back to the Island for a gig. They play covers from bands such as Muse, Foo Fighters, Kaiser Chiefs and Editors.
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