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LaDonna Smith

Alabama native LaDonna Smith, long renowned since the 1970's for her
instrumental prowess and for being a trail-blazing catalyst for improvised
music in the South via her organizational activities and for co-founding the
legendary journal, the improvisor, makes a rare New Orleans appearance
and initiates a new collaboration with New Orleans-area
Smith's story of musical discovery and adventure led her from the recital
rooms in Tuscaloosa to underground surrealist groups to some of the first
notable American cross-pollination with vanguard European free improvisors
to tours in Soviet-era Russia and a long-running festival in her home base
of Birmingham, Alabama. 

The following interview from the Perfect Sound Forever site does an
excellent job at putting Smith's career into context and touches on many
highlights, so i recommend reading it to get an idea of her background,
worldview, and body of work:

Her stunning string playing on violin and viola mates magically with her
vocal tones (most often sung directly into the sound hole of the instrument,
so the voice is amplified by the instrument chamber), embracing soaring
lyricism and harsh noise in her uniquely organic playing approach.  Her most
recent solo recording is a critically acclaimed 1-sided LP as part of the
"Lanthanides" series on highly regarded new music label Table of the

Village Voice review:
For her New Orleans (2004) appearance at the Big Top 3 Ring Circus,
Smith performs an acoustic set called "Contra-LaDonna" with the bass duo of Jeb Stuart and Bill Hunsinger
(of the beloved all-bass group ContraContrabass)
followed by a second (amplified) set with the hard-hitting Dry Bones Trio,
a New Orleans-based group featuring Rob Cambre (guitar), Bill Hunsinger
(bass) and Endre Landsnes (drums) with the addition of  Jeb Stuart (bass). 
Sparks shall fly and hairs shall rise...
You may find examples of her music at

                                                           -- Rob Cambre