Double-bass player Damon Smith studied with bassists as diverse as Bill Douglass, improviser Lisle Ellis, classical bassist Kristin Zerneg, and jazz double-bassist Michael Jones. He also had single lessons or attended workshops with Barre Phillips, Stefano Scodanibbio, John Lindberg, Mark Dresser, Peter Kowald, William Parker, Ken Filiano, Dave Holland, and Joëlle Léandre. Smith also continues semi-frequent studies with Bertram Turetzky. He has also done considerable research of the “sonic palette” of the double-bass, which has resulted in a personal, flexible improvisational language based in the American jazz avant-garde movement and European non-idiomatic free improvisation.
Smith is also very influenced by non-representational visual art and dance. He has collaborated with a wide range of musicians including Marshall Allen (of Sun Ra´s Arkestra), Henry Kaiser, Fred Frith, Wadada Leo Smith, Marco Eneidi, Wolfgang Fuchs, Peter Brötzmann, Peter Kowald, Jim O’Rourke, and Richard Thompson. Damon has also collaborated with dancers, actors, and poets including poet Jack Brewer, scoring actor William Whaley’s adaptation of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Capricorn for actor and double-bass, and the west coast premier of the final collaboration of Merce Cunningham and John Cage entitled Ocean. Damon has eight CDs on his own Balance Point Acoustics label.