1956 to 2005
December 8, 1925 in Norristown
February 8, 2005
Philadelphia, PA, United States
US jazz organist
James Oscar "Jimmy" Smith (December 8, 1925 or 1928 – February 8, 2005) was an American jazz musician who achieved the rare distinction of releasing a series of instrumental jazz albums that often charted on Billboard. Smith helped popularize the Hammond B-3 electric organ, creating an indelible link between 1960s soul and jazz improvisation. In 2005, Smith was awarded the NEA Jazz Masters Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest honor that America bestows upon jazz musicians.