College of Fine Arts and Design

UCO Jazz Lab to Host Former National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion

April 29, 2010performers

2001 National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion Richard Smith, together with his wife, cellist Julie Adams, will be in concert for one night only at the UCO Jazz Lab at 8 p.m., Thursday, May 13.

A child prodigy who has played since the age of 5, Smith is known for   his ability to finger-pick his way through a variety of bass lines, chords and melodies, conjuring up sounds that range from a harp to a snare drum.

"He can lay down the rhythm with his thumb and then pick the melody with his fingers so that what you think you are listening to is several different instruments at once, but it's just Richard and his two hands," said Lee Rucker, UCO Jazz Lab director.

"Even guitar great Chet Atkins called Richard 'the most amazing guy I know on the guitar.' That tells you a little something about Richard's abilities," said Rucker.

Smith and Adams, who was classically trained at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, MI and has been featured on a wide range of projects from pop albums to major film scores, will play music from a variety of styles including country, bluegrass, mainstream jazz, modern pop and rock and classical.

"Julie and I are really looking forward to playing at UCO," said Smith. "I have played there (Oklahoma) before several times and more recently with my good friend, your local guitar guru Edgar Cruz. It's always a fun place to play with a really enthusiastic crowd and a great sound set-up."

Tickets for the concert are $15. To reserve seats, call (405) 359-7989.  For a complete schedule of performances at the UCO Jazz Lab visit