“If I had to describe Lovell-Smith’s playing in one word, it would be lyrical. She lives in a space that most of us only visit occasionally.”
-Sam Newsome, 2015
Jasmine Lovell-Smith is a composer and saxophonist, originally from New Zealand. Jasmine composes jazz and chamber music for a variety of ensembles, including her NYC-based band "Towering Poppies," with whom she released her critically acclaimed debut album Fortune Songs
in 2012. Her sophomore album Yellow Red Blue
is due out in November 2016.
Between 2010 and 2014 she lived in New York City and Connecticut, graduating in 2014 with a Master of Arts in composition from Wesleyan University. For the last two years Jasmine has resided in Morelia, Mexico. In 2017 she will return to New Zealand to undertake a Doctorate of Music Arts in composition at the New Zealand School of Music.
As a saxophonist, Jasmine has performed at venues including Roulette, Korzo, SEEDS (New York City), Sala Xochipilli and Jazzorca (Mexico City), Teatro Ocampo and Amaticafe (Morelia, MX), Happy and Havana Bar (New Zealand), in contexts including Anthony Braxton’s Falling River Nonet (2014) and as a soloist with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Michoacan (2015).
Jasmine’s composition teachers have included Anthony Braxton and Paula Matthusen (at Wesleyan University), and John Psathas and Norman Meehan (in New Zealand). She has also participated in residencies and workshops including the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music (2015 and 2008), the Atlantic Center for the Arts (working with Master Artist Marilyn Crispell), and the SIM Summer Intensive (2010).
Born to an American mother, a trained opera vocalist, and a Kiwi father, the voice was Jasmine’s first instrument. After discovering jazz in high school, she took up the saxophone and went on to graduate from Massey University (Wellington, NZ) in 2006 with a Bachelor of Music (1st
class Honors) majoring in jazz saxophone performance and composition.
As a composer, Jasmine’s works have been performed by LOADBANG (NYC), May Cheung (NYC), Inserte Nombre (Mexico) and the New Zealand Youth Jazz Orchestra, as well as by her own ensembles. Her music has been featured on radio shows in Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands and the United States.
Jasmine seeks to create music that is lyrical and memorable, balancing intuition and spontaneity with carefully crafted structures. Some of her interests include setting poetry to music, polyphony and composing for woodwind instruments. She is also an experienced educator, and has taught at the New Zealand School of Music and the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolas de Hidalgo, as well as working as a teaching assistant at Wesleyan University.