Marty Smyth is a classically trained pipe organist who is equally at home as a jazz pianist, rock bassist, choral conductor, and recording engineer. He holds the Associateship diploma in piano performance with the Royal Conservatory, the Associateship diploma with the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Toronto.
At the University of Toronto, he studied organ performance with John Tuttle, complemented by double bass lessons with Tim Dawson. He has appeared in solo and ensemble classical music performances across Canada, the U.S. and Europe. A multi-instrumentalist, he performs frequently, playing various keyboard and bass instruments in the worlds of jazz and rock music as well as delighting in the opportunities he encounters as a busy freelance recording engineer.
As both recording engineer and performer (conductor, pianist, organist, bassist) Marty has appeared on CBC, CTV, MTV and other networks. This very satisfying experience in the entertainment industry provides much needed perspective to the rest of his career in the classical world.
Following the success of his first solo pipe organ CD ‘Danse Macabre’ (featuring many original orchestral transcriptions), in 2007 Marty released his second pipe organ CD, Synchronous. It is an eclectic set of pieces based around the pipe organ, which included transcriptions of 20th and 21st century rock, pop and classical music (including Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin, and Ravel). The CD release was followed-up by a (attendance-record breaking!) concert, entitled Beatles vs. Bach. It showcased the pipe organ’s versatility in modern and classical music, from a swinging Bach Toccata and Fugue, to music by Rush and the Beatles. From this, Electro-Funk band AM was born- a band in which Marty played organ (sampled, for portability) and bass, along with eight other funky great musicians.
As a clinician for choirs and for community music programs, Marty has presented and coached music leaders in how they can adapt and grow their programs. His presentations show how classical, jazz, pop, and many other forms of musical expression are valid as education and entertainment, and can compliment each other to excite communities and individuals.
Marty is married, lives in North Toronto, and is an avid automobile racer.