Wil Smith is an organist and composer whose work embraces a variety of traditional and popular styles, integrating classical techniques with cutting-edge technology, theatrics, and improvisation.
He plays pipe organ, Hammond B3 organ, piano, and keyboards, and serves as director of music at Central Presbyterian Church in Denver.
Called an "intrepid keyboardist" by the New York Times, Smith is active as a performer in New York and across the United States. He recently commissioned new works for pipe organ by composers Paula Matthusen, Orlando Jacinto Garcia, Corey Dargel, Eric km Clark, Irene Buckley, and Omar Surillo, which he premiered in multimedia concerts at the New Music Miami festival and First Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, collaborating with video artist Nathan Selikoff. He has also played piano for Cynthia Hopkins at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn and the Celebrate Brooklyn music festival, performed on keyboards in Corey Dargel's Hold Yourself Together in the American Composer Orchestra's Sonic Festival and on the Brooklyn Philharmonic's Music off the Walls concert, and performed on Hammond B3 organ with Present Music in Milwaukee premiering Jerome Kitzke's new large-scale theatrical work, Buffalo Nation. In 2012 and 2013, he music directed and conducted Cynthia Hopkins's new multimedia theatrical work, This Clement World, at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn, at The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and at REDCAT at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
Smith’s original compositions have been performed by internationally acclaimed ensembles and soloists, including Dither electric guitar quartet, MIVOS string quartet, the California Ear Unit, flutist Margaret Lancaster, cellist Jody Redhage, and soprano Mellissa Hughes. His music has been presented by venues across the US, including REDCAT Theater and The Wulf in Los Angeles, the MATA Interval series at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, the 12 Nights festival in Miami, and the Bang On A Can summer music festival at MassMOCA. In addition, recordings of his have been released on New Amsterdam Records and Innova Recordings, featured on WNYC’s Spinning on Air and New Sounds, and played on WQXR’s Q2 radio. Pieces for People, an album on which he is featured playing a solo pipe organ work written for him by composer Paula Matthusen, was named one of the top 10 classical albums of 2015 by The New Yorker, as well as by Boston Globe music critic Steve Smith
Smith is the founder and curator of the critically acclaimed Brooklyn-based new-music series, Music at First.