Growing up in a professionally musical family, it was pretty much inevitable that Lori would play a musical instrument of some kind. Truth be told, Lori began her violin studies as a ploy to end up with her grandmother’s keepsake violin... (mission accomplished) and despite her multiple attempts to stop once she started, her parents’ prayers prevailed and she saw God’s clear leading through a series of events as well as her gifting to take a musical road in college and eventually her profession.
After making that decision, Lori completed her BA in music from Cedarville University, and continued on to graduate with her Master’s of Music from University of Utah. Since then, although classically trained, she has developed a unique style, incorporating all styles of music into a variety of venues. Her motto is ‘artistry with passion,’ and she embodies the saying of J.S. Bach ‘I play the notes... but God makes the music.’
Lori just completed production of a CD containing hymns in a modern setting entitled 'Crescendo,' released in Spring 2014, and has four CD projects currently available. Memoirs of the Soul was originally a farewell present to her church in Utah. It features many classic hymns of faith in the simple delivery of a violin and piano pairing. When she began touring, the popularity of the first project led to an inspired folk and celtic-style project entitled Sanctuary. The idea behind Sanctuary is refuge in the time of storm, a place of peace and rest.... which is what the listener will find in the first few strains of this CD. 'Presence' is very close to her heart, and tells THE STORY, which started it all... the story of Christmas that sent Jesus Christ to this broken world.
Of all the musical experiences Lori has had the opportunity to be a part of, none has yet topped the amazing Singing Christmas Trees of First Baptist of Orlando in 2008, when the trees returned with a bang! (literally) She played a beautiful rendition of ‘O Holy Night’ and as the choir sang ‘Fall on your knees,’.... the curtain dropped to reveal the 350 voices in those two incredible tree configurations. It was such a powerful moment, not only because she was doing what she loves, but because of the meaning of this special time of year and all that it means to her personally. ‘It is a season of giving, but for me and my family, it is all about the ultimate Gift of Jesus Christ,’ says Lori. And this is why this Christmas performance continues to top the chart in her book. First Baptist Orlando is the church she and her family now call home. And perhaps why the next step in Lori's journey has been the release of a brand new Christmas CD. This is a dream come true for Lori, and she is eternally grateful to her church and all those who have helped her bring this project into reality. 'Presence' is a warm blend of celtic, folk, blues and jazz stylings of many Christmas favorites... Joy to the World, What Child is This, Little Drummer Boy, White Christmas, Let it Snow, O Holy Night... Just to name a few. It incorporates the beautiful sounds of solo violin with an earthy acoustic instrumentation backdrop featuring piano, acoustic guitar, bass, drums and percussion and some touches of viola and cello. She took the project 'on the road' beginning this past fall, including a northeast swing and several dates in Florida. (Stay tuned on 'The Loop' to see if Lori Jean Smith might be coming to a city near you!)
Lori’s life may have begun with music... but it does not end there. She is blessed to be married to her husband of 22 years, Tim... an artistic photographer and amazing supporter of Lori’s musical success. Lori and Tim have two sons age 17 and 16. Zak plays football and guitar... Dillon plays piano, drums, marimba, and enjoys occasionally accompanying his mom with percussion on concert dates. Lori and her family embrace life and every opportunity to share God's love with others.
Lori Jean Smith
It is also Italian Day