Gary Smyth

Americana Guitarist / Singer

Sadly, Gary Smyth passed away suddenly on February 19, 2022. A huge loss for music and for his family, friends, and fans.

In Memoriam Page

Gary Smyth’s unique guitar playing was built on jazz, country, rock’n’roll, Americana, folk and beyond. His style brought him across Canada, the US and Europe. Clubs, concerts, festivals, intimate shows, recording studios, albums, videos have all melded into his own approach to music. The song always came first, heart and soul makes it come alive. Deep experience with many artists, in many forms, from solo shows to playing in front of symphony orchestras made for a well-rounded artist.

His influences tended toward the melodic players, Mark Knopfler, Carlos Santana, Leslie West and David Gilmour: as he describes it, “I can understand what they are doing” ; guitarists that get to the heart of a song like BB King, but appreciative of any style well done.

In Kelowna, Gary was a long-time lead guitarist for country rockers The Cruzeros, From there to jazz roots Cowboy Bob, pub rock trio Green Room Riders, eclectic guitar duo Stringers with brilliant guitarist Sean Bray, Dirt Road Opera, Niki Martinus and more, too numerous, sometimes humorous to name. Currently with Rocky Mountain High, a tribute to John Denver featuring Lee Holdridge, who arranged and conducted these songs for John Denver, now with a 9-piece band and full local symphony orchestras in major theatres including Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall.

Always the nomad, Gary played in the rock scene in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto. He played bass for a Rockabilly/ Western swing band, Windsor Ontario’s The Silvertones. Touring ooast-to-coast, playing clubs, major festivals, shows in Switzerland and Holland, music has taken him many places, with anywhere from 1 to 70 people onstage.

The depth of experience and styles cannot be captured in a short bio, but he’s been around.

Gary Smyth in Kelowna | Photo copyright (c) 2020 Miles Overn Photography

Where to Catch Him

Gary passed away in 2021 after moving back east to be closer to his family.

Where to Listen

Right here on eiKelowna's new streaming service, where we pay artists over 10x more per stream than the leading services.

Gary Smyth in Kelowna | Photo copyright (c) 2020 Miles Overn Photography

Venues Gary has played:

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