At this year's show, Smith will perform with percussionist Gustavo Aguilar, pianist Rock Wehrmann, and saxophonist James Romeo. Smith, who has played everything from rock to classical to electronica, will play two solos, perform with each of his guests as a duo, and make music with all the other three. And he'll press the room itself into instrumental duty, too. The name of this year's edition is "Listening Noise," which stems from a discussion Smith once had with his wife.
"I was being nonresponsive in a conversation, and the comment was made, 'At least provide some listening noises,'" he says circumspectly.
Circumspection won't figure at Drinko, however. When Smith performs, he brings it all: brain, fingers, heart, sweat. "It has to do with adrenaline," says Smith. "The way you approach a performance is different from the way you approach a recording session. In a performance, there are no second takes."