Ivon Smith

By April 13, 2018 KL Jazz Club No Comments

Ivon, originating from New Zealand, has been immersed in musical practice and performance most of his life. At five years old with a love of percussion and drumming he absorbed the rock, blues and traditional R‘n’B styles of the 1960s and ‘70s via his musical siblings. He quickly discovered the percussion cultures of Africa via western musicians such as Ginger Baker, Stewart Copeland as well as cross-over African bands such as Osibisa.

Via great song writers, The Beatles, Ivon’s experience of music and life was changed after six years old when he discovered Indian music and culture, with direct exposure to the traditional music of the great Pandit Ravi Shankar. Ivon’s love of Indian music, art, culture and spirituality continues to this day, over four decades later, and influences much of his playing style.

A self-taught musician, Ivon took up guitar at 13 years old, and began playing in the traditional folk scene of Britain, Ireland and Scotland but soon discovered the fusion music that evolved from the ‘60s and ‘70s blending jazz, rock, western classical and Indian styles. His greatest influences came from the giants of that ilk, John McLaughlin and his Mahavishnu Orchestra, Santana as well as Allan Holdsworth, Al di Meola, Billy Cobham and the flamenco fusion stylings of Paco de Lucia. The Indian acoustic fusion band, Shakti provided decades of inspiration and aspirations also.

Ivon recorded his first album in 1993 with his then rock, pop and fusion band, the aptly-named New Zealand-based Underworld and has performed acoustic and electric rock, jazz, blues, folk and fusions of Indian, Middle Eastern and African music all over the world in a professional and semi-professional status. After nine years living in Malaysia, Ivon continues to head-up and guest in several folk, rock, jazz, Indian and African ensembles, fusing all his influences to date in passionate and demanding musical creations.