BWW Feature: Keyboardist D'Laurent Smith Plays in Classic Cher at Park Theater Las Vegas
While the presence of the singer memorizes the audience, keyboard notes combined with other instruments become an integral part of the show. D'Laurent Smith, one of the top keyboardists in the industry, plays in "Classic Cher" at Park Theater Las Vegas May 16, May 18 and 19.
Smith showcases his talent for playing jazz, pop, and classical touring with other artists including Jay-Z, Stevie Nicks, Elton John, Janet Jackson, Lady Antebelum, k.d. lang, Dave Stewart, Anita Baker, and Darlene Love.
While his career thrives on stage, earlier this year Smith released his debut album TIME + SPACE. Grammy Award-winning engineer Phil Tan mastered and engineered the album in Atlanta. Performances on the 11 cuts include Grammy Award-nominated saxophone player Boney James ("Hand In Hand"), Romeo Johnson and Tanyell Thomas ("I Believe"), Nigerian singer Ola Onabule ("Mr. & Mrs. Smith"), and musician/singer/songwriter Donnell Spencer (Come On).
"It took me 52 years to write, record, and produce this album. My soul is ready, and I wanted to get this music out there. It is such a personal journey for me," Smith told BroadwayWorld.com.
Education is of great importance to Smith who studied piano and composition at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He then pursued his master's degree at the University of Southern California. While he is close to finishing his advanced degree, "I just kept getting so many gigs that I couldn't complete it yet," he said.
His father influenced him, and his earliest memory is sitting on his dad's lap while listening to all genres of music. Smith started taking piano lessons at the age of five and continues to make music through playing, composing, and recording.
As for performing with Cher, Smith explained, "She loves music so much and her connection with the audience. It is a very contagious thing. Cher doesn't seem to age. She has a lot of energy, and it is incredible to work with her. I have learned a great deal from her. She exemplifies longevity in a changing landscape and has overcome so much in this industry." Smith also admires her work ethic and sees her as an evolving icon.
Smith also appreciates the local Las Vegas music scene. He attends shows off the Strip and recently saw the group Santa Fe perform at the Copa Room. "I have been coming to Las Vegas since 2007 and experienced watching so many great musicians perform in Las Vegas."
D'Laurent Smith performs in "Classic Cher" at Park Theater Las Vegas May 16, May 18 and 19 and will return with Cher when she performs in Las Vegas in October. Click here to purchase tickets. TIME + SPACE can be downloaded on Amazon, Play Music, and Deezer.