Justin Smith is an LA-based guitarist in Los Angeles with over 20 years of experience as a recording artist and live performer. He has played everything from electric guitar, to banjo, to mandolin, to balalaika in the recording studio, theatre pits, jazz clubs, and on stage with major symphony orchestras.
Notable film and television projects include the major motion picture Call of the Wild (20th Century Pictures), Luca (Pixar), iMordedai (FeMor Productions), Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon), NASCAR (ESPN), The Voice (NBC), Toy Box (ABC), and appearances on Mad Men (AMC), Babylon (Paramount), and The Orville (Fox).
Live work includes performances backing a long list of artists including: Randy Newman, Jewel, Nikka Costa, Audra McDonald, Monica Mancini, Ledisi, Lea Solanga, assisting the incomparable Kermit the Frog on banjo, and accompanying Kristen Chenoweth on solo acoustic guitar to a sold-out Hollywood Bowl audience. As a jazz guitarist he has toured with Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band and appears regularly with numerous LA jazz groups and big bands.
Equally at home in a symphony orchestra, he is a regular guest of Michael Tilson Thomas as the guitarist for his composition, Playthings of the Wind, appearing with the San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestras, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Other orchestral credits include playing on both the recording and live world-premiere of Shostakovich’s recently discovered opera, Orango, with Esa-Peka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has also worked under the baton of John Williams, John Adams, David Newman, Gustavo Dudamel, Bramwell Tovey, and Thomas Wilkins.
Justin has performed in LA and on national tours for many broadway shows, including Hamilton, Wicked, Book of Mormon, If/Then, Beautiful, and Mamma Mia!.