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The San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation Collection The Charles N. Huggins Project

- Hal Smith

Hal Smith. Photo Credit: Jessica King

A longtime curator of the SFTJF Collection, Hal Smith has made the study of San Francisco Traditional Jazz his life’s work. For over 50 years, he has researched the history of the Revival, from its beginnings in the Bay Area in the late '30s to the present day. He knew, and also worked with, most Bay Area musicians who participated in the Traditional Jazz Revival. In addition to leading his own groups, Hal has played with the Dukes of Dixieland, the Jim Cullum Jazz Band, the Butch Thompson Trio and many others. He has performed on the nationally syndicated public radio programs A Prairie Home Companion and Riverwalk Jazz, and his writing has been published in jazz magazines across the U.S. and overseas.

Working as a curator of the SFTJF Archive, Hal was responsible for collecting and documenting the entire collection at the San Francisco location by type, such as record, tape, scrapbook, photos, ephemera, and musical instruments. He created a detailed list of items in the archive.

During this period, he also wrote several articles for the Foundation’s publication The Frisco Cricket and worked with John Gill on CD issues of rare recordings by Lu Watters and Turk Murphy. Hal also wrote many of the liner notes for Foundation releases on compact disc.

Bob Helm, Leon Oakley, Clint Baker and Hal Smith
Hal Smith's Down Home Jazz Band: Tom Bartlett, Bob Schulz, Chris Tyle, Hal Smith, Larry Wright, Mike Bezin, Jack Meilahn, Ray Skjelbred