Remembering Johnny “Hammond” Smith

For those Hammond Organ Buffs out there, here’s an update regarding my old boss & friend Johnny “Hammond” Smith.  Since Johnny’s passing in 1997, his recorded music has grown in popularity with many contemporary artists. His Widow (Cheryl Smith) has launched a popular Facebook page & is currently organizing unreleased original music that Johnny wrote.

Johnny on Facebook

Here’s a shot from the Monterey Jazz Fest in 1995.  I was honored to perform with Johnny & many of his pals that memorable eve.

“A Fresh Wind Blows at Monterey”    Photo by Michael Oletta




Pictured: Dan Papaila joins two departed jazz masters; Eddie Harris and Johnny “Hammond” Smith for a moment of festival magic.





“In 38 years at Monterey, I’ve seldom experienced the excitement that the spontaneous organ jam session created in ‘Dizzy’s Den’ on Friday” — Phil Elwood – San Francisco Chronicle

“A Salute to Johnny Hammond Smith” took on a life of it’s own and passed into festival folklore as one of those all time – ya hadda been there – great moments in jazz.” –Robert Tate
“Hundreds stood at the doors of ‘Dizzy’s Den’ on Friday and as the festival ended it’s three day, five concert, four stage run, everyone still spoke of the dazzling display.” — Mae Tate – L.A. Jazz Scene

Leave a Comment