As National Sawdust Log ceases operation at a time of drastic challenge, editor and lead writer Steve Smith looks back at what this bold joint initiative among artists, journalists, and critics achieved.
About Steve Smith
I've been involved professionally in music and media for close to 30 years, and personally for perhaps a decade longer. Apart from a two-year sojourn in Boston, I've been based in or around New York City since June 1993. After a long string of roles and positions in mass media, I've recently taken up the role of director of publications at National Sawdust, a revolutionary young performing-arts venue and incubator in Wiliamsburg, Brooklyn. You can learn more about that venture at nationalsawdust.org.
My work email address, for press releases, pitches, potential contributions, and whatnot, is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prior to joining National Sawdust, I spent just over two years as an assistant arts editor at the Boston Globe, where I had the privilege of overseeing that esteemed newspaper's coverage of music and the visual arts. Before that, I served for 13 years as a music editor (first classical music, and then everything) for Time Out New York, and for seven years concurrently as a freelance classical-music reporter and reviewer for The New York Times.
While nearly all of my work is now focused on National Sawdust, I continue to contribute interviews and concert and CD reviews for RollingStone.com. My writing has appeared previously in the Washington Post, Village Voice, Billboard, Musical America, The Wire, Signal to Noise [RIP], Decibel, Jazziz, Jazz Times, Down Beat, Chamber Music, and Symphony magazines.
Before turning to journalism full time, I was a classical radio DJ in Houston, and then worked as a publicist at BMG Classics, the Knitting Factory, Third Floor Media (representing the Columbia Records jazz roster, the Village Vanguard, select projects on Blue Note Records, and more), and other NYC organizations. Artists with whom I worked directly include Tim Berne, Bobby Previte, Dave Douglas, and Ellery Eskelin.
I trained formally as a classical percussionist, and then put those skills to use with jazz and rock bands in Houston and New York. I graduated from Clear Creek High School in League City, TX, in 1984, and from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, in 1988. I'm married to Dr. Lara Pellegrinelli, an accomplished journalist, critic, and academic. Our daughter, Annina, is a budding singer, dancer, painter, and social-media superstar.
If you want to send something to me via snail mail, please drop me a line via email first to determine the best destination.
Entries by Steve Smith
This week’s tally of memorable things National Sawdust Log editor Steve Smith has stuck in his ears includes selections featuring Bill Rieflin, Franz Brüggen, Radu Lupu, and Maria Callas.
This week in On the Record, The Necks defy expectation and categorization on ‘Three,’ their 21st album, new on Northern Spy. Plus dozens of listings for forthcoming releases.
This week’s tally of memorable things National Sawdust Log editor Steve Smith has stuck in his ears includes selections featuring Lea Bertucci, Starbirthed, Will Guthrie, and Beatriz Ferreyra.
This week’s tally of memorable things National Sawdust Log editor Steve Smith has stuck in his ears includes selections featuring David Grubbs & Taku Unami, Ellen Fullman, Rachel Beetz, and Charles Wuorinen.
This week’s tally of memorable things National Sawdust Log editor Steve Smith has stuck in his ears includes selections featuring Tyshawn Sorey, Porcupine Tree, Liza Lim, and Olga Neuwirth.
This week’s tally of memorable things National Sawdust Log editor Steve Smith has stuck in his ears includes selections featuring crys cole, Steve Roach, Peter Zinovieff & Lucy Railton, and Jürg Frey.
This week in On the Record, a new album by the Christian Wallumrød Ensemble offers an electrified mix of chamber music, improvisation, and more. Plus dozens of listings for forthcoming releases.
Exclusively on National Sawdust Log, watch a gorgeous animated-collage video for “My Magic Dreams Have Lost Their Spell,” the title track from a forthcoming LP by composer and cellist Nick Storring.
This week’s tally of memorable things National Sawdust Log editor Steve Smith has stuck in his ears includes selections featuring Carla Bley, Dave Douglas, Riot Ensemble, and Ludvig Forssell.