"Brian Smith of the Georgia Guitar Quartet, Revien and the Odd Trio brings his eclectic guitar playing style into the world. Blending seven string classical guitar with electronics, Brian combines elements of the past and present to create something uniquely his own."
Brian Smith is a guitarist and teacher in the Athens, GA area. Originally from Augusta, GA, he moved to Athens in 1995 to study guitar at the University of Georgia under the tutelage of John Sutherland. While there, Brian met the members of the Georgia Guitar Quartet and began a more than twenty year career with the ensemble, taking the group to various performance halls across the country, teaching many masterclasses and recording five albums. The Quartet has been featured on NPR’s “Performance Today” many times over the last nine years and has also been featured and interviewed on local radio stations across the country. Brian is also a founding member of the Georgia Guitar Quartet side project, Revien. The group features cello and two classical guitars, using various effects and loops to widen the sounds available to the ensemble. Revien has also been featured on “Performance Today” and has recorded two albums. The group plays a wide variety of music spanning many genres and has toured across the Southeast. Brian has been performing as a solo artist for the past two years, developing his style and technique to showcase original pieces and newly commissioned works as well as standard classical guitar pieces. Brian uses guitar effects and loopers to add percussion, bass and other sounds and voices to his instrument, the nylon 7-string guitar. His performance schedule has brought him to many locations across the state, and soon, the Southeast. In addition to performing and recording, Brian is a session guitarist for musical theater companies in Athens, Gainesville, Atlanta and Lawrenceville, Georgia.
Brian Smith began playing the guitar around the age of 11. He quickly fell in love with the instrument and began studying classical guitar under the tutelage of George Westafer. Throughout Middle School and High School Brian studied the classical guitar as well as percussion and bass, winning many awards as a multi-instrumentalist. During this time Brian also studied numerous styles of music, including jazz, rock, blues, and metal. He also began composing and arranging for a wide variety of ensembles. He continued this path throughout college where he earned a Bachelor's degree in music performance from the University of Georgia studying under John Sutherland. Brian won various awards during this time, including the National Federation of Music Clubs Competition and the state level of the MTNA Concerto Competition. At UGA, Brian met the members of the Georgia Guitar Quartet and became a founding member of the ensemble. He also began composing and arranging for the group. His original pieces and arrangements are staples of Quartet performances and have been met with acclaim by both critics and fans alike. Brian is the principal arranger for the GGQ/Robert Sims collaboration, which explores a variety of instrumental settings of folk, jazz, pop, spiritual, gospel, and classical songs. Brian is also a founding member of Revien, a unique ensemble consisting of three of the members of the Georgia Guitar Quartet. The ensemble consists of cello, two guitars and electronics. The group plays a wide variety of music including classical, pop, jazz and original compositions. Brian’s arrangements for both the Georgia Guitar Quartet and Revien have been featured many times on NPR’s "Performance Today.” When not performing with these groups, Brian maintains and active schedule performing in musical theater troupes, jazz ensembles, rock groups, and art ensembles. His compositions have covered a wide spectrum of musical styles, including his industrial heavy metal band Dilated Summit, which has released two recordings; break-beat electronic musical group DS: Public Domain, which has two underground releases; flute/guitar duet The Musicsmiths; the Odd Trio, which has released three recordings blending jazz with rock, metal, funk, and classical music; and various other classical and jazz instrumental ensembles.