John G Smith is a pianist, music director and composer based in London. His career began as a jazz player, touring with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, John Dankworth and Roadside Picnic, with whom he recorded many albums and performed all over Europe, including Montreux Jazz Festival and Ronnie Scott’s club.
In the West End he was MD for Les Miserables, Bombay Dreams, Fame, Daddy Cool, The Beautiful Game and guest conductor for Starlight Express, Saturday Night Fever, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Lion King and others.
He also conducted Damon Albarn’s opera Monkey, Journey to the West, and many Katherine Jenkins concerts. In 2013/14/15 John has been Musical Director for Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway on ITV. Recently he has returned to the keyboard and has performed/recorded with Michael Bublé, Joss Stone, Mica Paris, Mari Wilson, Darcey Bussell, Elaine Paige, The Nolans, Georgie Fame, Paul Carrack (of Mike and the Mechanics), Robbie Williams, Chris Moyles and N-Dubz.
He also played solo piano on several film soundtracks including Last Chance Harvey (Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson) and Passion Play (Megan Fox, Bill Murray). In September 2012 he was honoured to play solo keyboard at the Paralympics Closing Ceremony. John played keyboard 1 in Sam Mendes’ hit production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and is currently Piano/MD for Beautiful! The Carole King Musical, at the Aldwych Theatre.
In 2014 John formed a band with guitarist James Graydon and bassist Zoltan Dekany (later adding the sax of Andy Panayi and drums of Dave Elliot), performing John’s own songs and arrangements.
Elaine Paige liked the band so much she asked them to be her new backing band, and to play support as well, for her 2016 Stripped Back tour. John has also scored several cartoon series for Nickelodeon, France TV1 and the Disney Channel, including Lola and Virginia, Sandra the Fairytale Detective, and Lucky Fred.