H O U S T O N ' S S T O R Y
“To whom much is given, much is required!” This quote is one of many that multi-instrumentalist Houston Smith, tries to live by daily. Smith, a young entrepreneur and musician often finds that living by this quote affords him many musical blessings and opportunities otherwise unforeseen. At a mere four years old, Houston displayed a unique passion for the drums and other percussion instruments. He studied privately under percussion great, Mr. Leon Brady at Brady Music Studio for 10 years. At the age of 10, Smith indirectly discovered an unknown passion for a new instrument, and switched his musical focus to the alto saxophone. Shortly after, he joined Kansas City Youth Jazz (KCYJ), a program designed to educate youth about ‘jazz’ through experience, exposure and performance, in the very place it all began.
Houston’s involvement with the program gave him many opportunities including: playing the musical opening for the renown Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, and being featured on Good Morning America amongst others. One of the most musically rewarding experiences was his participation in the Grammy Music Revolution Project, a pilot month-long music immersion program held at the Kauffman Center. Through the program, Smith was afforded many rewarding opportunities and relationships that still prove beneficial. He continued to expand his musical resume by forming and booking his own musical projects—all of which perform regularly throughout the Kansas City & surrounding areas to the date.
Houston knew relocating, learning and growing within a new environment would help to best discover his untapped potential. Unwaveringly, he applied to the prestigious Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA) and was accepted. His journey there would start anew, and has proven to yield him much success through acquired industry knowledge, musical growth & lifelong musical friendships. During his time at Berklee, Smith was fortunate to study and learn from musical masters including: Terence Blanchard, Walter Beasley, Bill Pierce, Dino Govoni, Lenny Stallworth, Tia Fuller, Shamie Royston & many more. A Professional Music Major with concentrations in Woodwind Performance & Music Business, Houston completed his studies as a member of the ℅ 2019. These experiences and relationships, Houston feels, are invaluable and will help to propel him as he aspires to be successful in the music industry.
In addition to music, Smith enjoys writing and journalism. He is a public speaker, NAACP member, and social justice activist who uses both his musical and physical voice to bring attention to unjust situations plaguing our social, economic & global communities. He remains remotely active in his home church, Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist, and during his time there has served in the youth department, Jr. Laymen (District Chaplain), Fine Arts, Dramatic and Music ministries. He is an Eagle Scout of Boy Scout Troop 188 and a proud graduate of Rockhurst High School, Class of 2015.
Smith says, “Music is a crucial part of me; is one of the mediums I use to express myself. Without music, there is no complete Houston. Style or genre aside, music has the power to bring people together; it has a transcending power that can break down the barriers that often impede life’s pathway. My life’s mission is to break those barriers and unite people through the power of my music.” He adds, “...it is a great gift bestowed to me; I show my thanks through sharing it with others. My hope is to inspire and motivate others to find their purpose, just as I have found mine. Music is life.”