Steve Smith has been involved professionally in music and media for more than 30 years, and personally for even longer. Closely associated with contemporary music and living composers, Smith writes regularly for The New Yorker and The New York Times, and in April 2020 relaunched his ASCAP Deems Taylor Award-winning blog, Night After Night, as a subscription-based newsletter (nightafternight.substack.com), publishing news, interviews, and reviews at least once a week. He presently is employed by NPR, on a temporary basis, as a senior editor on the Arts, Culture, and Books desk.
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Among prior positions, Smith most recently was the inaugural director of publications for the Brooklyn-based concert venue and performing-arts incubator National Sawdust. He served as the editor and lead writer for National Sawdust Log (2016-20), a respected online journal of music journalism and criticism that showcased writing by well-established professionals and gifted emerging writers alike. The Log was recognized for support by the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, attesting to the quality the publication achieved during its brief existence.
Smith previously served as an assistant arts editor at the Boston Globe (2014-16), directing coverage of classical and popular music and the visual arts at that esteemed newspaper. As a freelance critic and reporter for The New York Times (2007-14), he contributed multiple articles and reviews weekly. At Time Out New York (2001-14), he initially handled classical music coverage, providing many now-prominent new-music artists and organizations with their initial coverage, and eventually assumed oversight for all of the magazine’s music coverage.
Smith has embraced an uncommonly broad stylistic range in his music coverage, which has appeared in the Washington Post, Village Voice, Billboard, Musical America, New Music Box, Jazziz, JazzTimes, DownBeat, The Wire, Signal to Noise [RIP], Chamber Music, Symphony, New Music Box, Decibel, and other publications. Along with his work as a writer and editor, he has extensive experience in public relations, radio broadcasting, and in-person interviews, both live onstage and streaming on the web.
Smith trained formally as a percussionist, and put his studies to work with jazz groups in San Antonio, in rock bands in Houston and New York, and with the Long Island Gilbert & Sullivan Society. He lives in Queens with his wife, the journalist and scholar Lara Pellegrinelli, their daughter, and two charismatic dogs.