Biography

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Hap Smith is a musical artist and educator based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He teaches guitar, music theory and improvization. His preferred musical style is Jazz and he has extensive experience in Funk/R&B and Blues.

Hap grew up in Bordentown, New Jersey and attended Berklee College of Music, graduating with a bachelor degree in music education in the late 1960's and studied privately with Bill Leavitt, Dennis Sandole, Joe Lano and Jimmy Wilkinson. He toured as a member of Wayne Cochran's CC Riders before moving to Las Vegas in 1968 to join the Johnny Haig Relief Band. The Haig band was the premier relief band on the Las Vegas strip, performing on the regularly scheduled nights off for the house bands in Vegas hotels. He performed with Vegas headliners, production shows, and TV shows in Las Vegas, was personal guitarist for Ann Margret for two years.  He has performed with acts including Barbara Mandrell, the Oak Ridge Boys, Chubby Checker, the Osmonds, and Barbra Streisand.  He also has performed in three concerts with Pavorati.  Individual vocalists he has worked with include Dusty Springfiled, Jack Jones, Mel Torme, Marlena Shaw, and Buddy Greco (Iridium NYC).  Jazz artists he has worked with include Carl Fontana (Marv Koral & the All-Stars: Live at Pierce Street Annex), Art Van Damm and Don Menza.  He has played concerts and gigs in the Southwest and Far East with Bill Callanan's B3 Conspiracy.

In addition to his career as a performer, Hap has been teaching for more than 35 years  As a teacher, Hap likes to emphasize improvisation in all idioms. After spending time learning what the student needs, he tailor lessons to the student's level and teaches improv and modern harmony by way of styles and tunes that interest the student.