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About

Jasmine Lovell-Smith is a composer and soprano saxophonist based in Wellington, New Zealand. Her compositions explore the intersections of jazz, improvisation and chamber music, and she enjoys bringing together the unique voices of improvisers to create something that is greater than the sum of its parts.


After beginning her career in New Zealand, Jasmine spent a number of years living in the United States (New York, NY and Middletown, CT) and Mexico, where she participated in the local scenes as a performer, composer, and educator, before returning to New Zealand in 2017. She has released two critically acclaimed albums with her New York based quintet Towering Poppies (2012’s Fortune Songs and 2016’s Yellow Red Blue), which received press in international publications including JazzTimes and The New York City Jazz Record.

As a composer, Jasmine’s works have been commissioned by the Wellington Jazz Festival, Stroma and the Jac, the New Zealand School of Music and Hannah Darroch and Andrew Crooks. Jasmine has studied with compositional luminaries including Anthony Braxton (Wesleyan University MA, 2014), John Psathas (NZSM DMA, 2021) and Paula Matthusen (Wesleyan University MA, 2014). 


As a saxophonist, Jasmine has performed at venues including Roulette, Korzo and 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) with new music ensemble Stroma (2018) and as a soloist with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Michoacan (2015). Recent projects include improvising chamber quartet the Noveltones and composers' collective the Arthur Street Loft Orchestra. Jasmine currently works as an Artist Teacher at the New Zealand School of Music and serves on the artistic advisory panel of the Wellington Jazz Festival. 

“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