Jay Smart performs in The Current studio

Jay Smart
Jay Smart performing live in The Current studio (MPR / Leah Garaas)
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Jay Smart performs in The Current studio (full session and interview)
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| 19:00
  • Jay Smart performs in The Current studio (full session and interview) 19:00
  • Jay Smart - 20 Times Wiser (Live on The Current) 03:49
  • Jay Smart - Television Girl (Live on The Current) 04:24
  • Jay Smart - Without My Baby (Live on The Current) 02:26

Calm, engaging, and graceful-- it's the waltz tempo of Jay Smart's "Without My Baby" and the way his voice lilts on "Television Girl," and as The Current's staff learned when he visited our studios to record a session for The Local Show, it's also the way he carries himself.

Smart moved to the Twin Cities from Nairobi, Kenya about three years ago, in large part to pursue music. Since then, he's released an EP called 20 Times Wiser, played several concerts and open mics, and recorded a full-length album (which is planned for a spring release). His cover of Haley Bonar's "Kismet Kill" is the current talk of the town.

Why did Smart pick Minnesota? First of all, he had family in the area, which made the decision easy – but it didn't hurt that Bob Dylan is from here. Smart looks up to the Hibbing native and covered "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" to celebrate Dylan's birthday back in May.

Along with Bonar and Dylan, Tracy Chapman comes to mind as an artist who has touched Smart's work. But covers and comparisons aside, Smart is becoming a sterling singer/songwriter in and of himself.

Songs Performed

"20 Times Wiser"
"Television Girl"
"Without My Baby"

"20 Times Wiser" and "Without My Baby" are off Jay Smart's EP 20 Times Wiser. "Television Girl" is off Smart's forthcoming debut album, to be released spring 2017.

Hosted by Andrea Swensson
Produdced by Andrea Swensson
Engineered by Mike DeMark
Visuals by Leah Garaas
Web feature by Cecilia Johnson

2 Photos

  • Jay Smart
    Jay Smart performing live in The Current studio (MPR / Leah Garaas)
  • Jay Smart
    Jay Smart in The Current studio with host Andrea Swensson (MPR / Leah Garaas)