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Wadada Leo Smith

American,  Musician
Total Quotes : 23
Award Motivates Out

I don't set out to win awards. I don't think any musician does, but when you receive an award, it's an affirmation: it means that people appreciate what you do. Every award I have received is a confirmation of something I have done, and that motivates me to push a little harder.

- Wadada Leo Smith

Everything Valuable

Everything and anything is valuable.

- Wadada Leo Smith

Gift Creator Beethoven

I've got that Beethoven energy, that Stravinsky energy. And it's all a gift from the Creator.

- Wadada Leo Smith

Doing Always Been

I'm an optimist. I have always been, and I will continue to be. So I believe there's always a possibility of transforming or changing or doing something different.

- Wadada Leo Smith

Past Back Now

From now back to the past, we can observe clearly that none of us is free.

- Wadada Leo Smith

Art Always Improviser

I always felt of myself as a composer, performer, improviser. I've never called myself a jazz man. I make art.

- Wadada Leo Smith

Political Reason I Think

All art is political. Yes. Even the stuff that sounds like bubble-gum songs. I think all art is, by nature, intended to motivate society for change, and the only reason change doesn't happen is because within the target population, courage is lacking.

- Wadada Leo Smith

Think Reason Happen

I think all art is, by nature, intended to motivate society for change, and the only reason change doesn't happen is because within the target population, courage is lacking.

- Wadada Leo Smith

Think Receive Means

I don't set out to win awards. I don't think any musician does, but when you receive an award, it's an affirmation: it means that people appreciate what you do.

- Wadada Leo Smith

Everybody Been About

I have been in dialogue with my family about what can actually be done. We've come up with this philosophy that in a truly multicultural society, the only way to have liberty and justice for everybody is to have multiple parties. And by multiple parties, I mean 50 parties, not one or two.

- Wadada Leo Smith

Black American Experience

I wanted to identify that the black experience is American experience.

- Wadada Leo Smith

Truth Seeing Bigger

Seeing the bigger picture opens your eyes to what is the truth.

- Wadada Leo Smith

Creation Nothing Unnatural

There's nothing unnatural in creation.

- Wadada Leo Smith

Society Special Very

The artist is the consciousness of society... but musicians' role is very special.

- Wadada Leo Smith

Father Around Wallace

When I first started, I worked with my father, Alex 'Little Bill' Wallace; he was a guitarist like B.B. King. I was around 13 when I started, and I learned a lot by looking and listening. I learned how to be a bandleader from watching that band work.

- Wadada Leo Smith

Here Old Instance

We have these old fashioned ideas. For instance, here in America, we talk about democracy - but we don't have a democracy. There are elements of a democracy.

- Wadada Leo Smith

Part Rights Movement South

When you live in the South, you're constantly part of the civil rights movement.

- Wadada Leo Smith

Survive Will Some

The only thing that makes change possible is the idea of developing some kind of institution, because the institutions will survive individuals.

- Wadada Leo Smith

Through Wider Smith

Jazz infers a style, but creative music has a wider field and wider specification about it. We know it from people like Scott Joplin and on through Bessie Smith.

- Wadada Leo Smith

Back Needed Smith

I started composing when I was around 13, and back then, people used to say that I needed to be a composer or a performer, but I can't be good at both of them. I could never understand why anyone would say that. Jellyroll did both, Bessie Smith did both, and so did I.

- Wadada Leo Smith