About Alan Smallwood
Alan Smallwood was born and raised in the Washington DC area. He studied the piano and trumpet at North Carolina School of the Arts. After graduating, he returned to his hometown and toured the club circuit until he joined the infamous local DC group, “Sinbad”. The group’s NYC manager convinced Alan to move to NY where he began composing with the late, great jazz organist, Larry Young.
The Broadway composer Peter Link hired Alan as musical director for several rock-theatre productions and for years Alan continued to work with Peter on such shows as his Broadway musical “King of Hearts” (the album). During this time Peter and Alan worked closely together developing various artists including Gospel singer Jenny Burton, and singer/actor Mandy Patinkin.
In 1983, Alan arranged, performed and conducted a benefit show at Lincoln Center entitled “With Heartfelt Thanks – A Tribute to Lee Strasburg”. Many stars of the silver screen appeared including Martin Sheen, Al Pacino, Drew Barrymore, Richard Dreyfus, Tony Randall, Cheryl Crawford, and Michael Moriarty. In the mid 80’s, Alan performed with Marilyn McCoo, Eartha Kitt & Della Reese.
For a few years Alan left NY and toured the US with Edgar Winter and then with David Clayton-Thomas of “Blood Sweat & Tears.” He was hired by Mike Mainieri of “Steps Ahead”, to compose and arrange music for a solo project of Andy Summers, guitarist with the famed group “The Police.” Prior to that, Alan had developed a long lasting relationship with well known bassist, singer, composer Fernando Saunders (of Pat Benatar and Heart). They performed together on Susan Werner’s album “Last of the Good Straight Girls.” Alan appeared on numerous albums of Fernando’s while performing along side him with several other artists including Marianne Faithful, Mac (Dr. John) Rebennack, and Lou Reed.
In the years Alan toured with Lou Reed, he played some exciting shows including the Amnesty International Tour concerts featuring artists such as Sting, Peter Gabriel & Jackson Brown. With this same Lou Reed band, Alan appeared on the TV show Saturday Night Live. Alan and Fernando met guitarist, Chieli Minucci and soon joined Chieli’s group, “Special EFX” where Alan was featured on the album “Slice of Life.” During the many years of their relationship, Alan and Chieli toured and worked on numerous projects including the movie theme for the film “In the Shadow of Kilimanjaro.”
For decades Alan has arranged numerous songs for Philippine Platinum artist, Jose Marie Chan. Arrangements include hit songs “Beautiful Girl” and “Tell Me Your Name”.
Since 1985 Alan worked as a composer/programmer for the TV commercial music house, North Forty Productions. The company’s founder, James Todd and Alan have collaborated on music for countless national TV commercials including spots for Budweiser and McDonalds.
Today Alan and his wife, Lynn are proud parents of their talented and beautiful daughter, Kaitlin. In 2002, Alan moved to Gettysburg PA, where he works primarily through the Internet.
Additional artists Alan has played and/or recorded with include are: Lionel Hampton,Tony Williams, Chris Botti,, Garth Hudson, Lew Soloff, Bill Frisell, Joe Lynn Turner, Vicki Sue Robinson, Andy Snitzer, Dave Weckl, Dennis Chambers, J.T. Lewis, Danny Brubeck, Jeff Andrews, Wayne Pedziawatr, Nicky Haimo and more.