Jeffery Smith had a relatively late start in jazz, not recording his first jazz album as a leader until he was almost 40. He is a ballad-oriented singer with a warm baritone voice. He played the cello for many years, sang in a youth choir as a teenager, and, starting when he was 18, worked as an actor in television and films. While he occasionally sang in clubs, acting was his main profession. In 1985, Smith moved to New York, where he acted in plays. During 1991-1998 he lived in Paris, where he changed the emphasis of his career. He worked regularly with Claude Bolling's orchestra and sang in the studios. Smith met Shirley Horn in 1992 and she immediately became his mentor. Inspired by Horn, Smith signed to the Verve label in 1995. Horn not only produced his first album but accompanied him on piano. In 1998 Jeffery Smith moved back to New York. He has since performed with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (at Louis Armstrong tribute concerts) and Dee Dee Bridgewater, and has had his own engagements at New York clubs and festivals. His three Verve CDs include Ramona, A Little Sweeter (which features pianist Kenny Barron), and Down Here Below. The latter has guest appearances by Dianne Reeves and Regina Carter. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi