Joel LaRue Smith

Joel LaRue Smith

Contact Info:
Department of Music
Granoff Music Center, M243
20 Talbot Avenue
Medford, MA 02155

Office: 617-627-2416
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Personal website

Office Hours:
By appointment

Senior Lecturer of Music, Director of Jazz Activities, Director of the Tufts Jazz Orchestra 


M.M., Manhattan School of Music
B.A., City College, Ford Fellow
Composition studies: Hale Smith & David Del Tredici
Jazz Piano: Jaki Byard & Barry Harris
Afro-Cuban: Charlie Palmieri

Joel LaRue Smith has been the Director of the Tufts Jazz Orchestra (formerly the Big Band) and Jazz Activities at Tufts University since 1996. Under his direction, the Tufts Big Band has toured Cuba and Prague twice and was invited to perform at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2007. In the summer of 2006 the Tufts University Big Band debut CD was released.


  • Winner; the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation 1995 Jazz Competition in conjunction with Jazz Times
  • Six "Meet The Composer" Awards
  • ASCAP's George and Ira Gershwin Award
  • Queens Council on the Arts Composer Grant
  • Commissions from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts as well as Brown University.

Mr. Smith has performed in the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Caribbean, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and The Whitney Museum; The White House; Symphony Hall in San Francisco & Boston; and The Royal Albert Hall in London.


  • September's Child (2008)