Cape Breton Musician Jay Smith died in Edmonton in March while on tour with Matt Mays and El Torpedo. A group of
St. John’s musicians, many of whom were friends with Smith, will perform shows on Thursday and Friday night to raise money for Smith’s two young children. — Submitted photo
A rock star, pure and simple, is how Jay Smith will be remembered, and local musicians will take to the stage Thursday and Friday for shows in his honour.
The Cape Breton musician died suddenly in a hotel room in Edmonton March 27, while on tour with rock group Matt Mays and El Torpedo.
Known in recent years primarily as guitarist for the band, he had also played in this province with his band Rock Ranger.
Two years ago, Smith released a solo album, which went on to be nominated for Music Nova Scotia's Rock Recording of the Year award.
“I always got along with Jay. He was such a tasteful and respectful musician to play with,” said singer Colleen Power.
Smith often performed with Power when she toured Cape Breton, and Power toured with Rock Ranger.
“Aside from being an amazing musician and songwriter, Jay was the life of the party and had no problem crashing any stuffy old record company do at the ECMAs or wherever. He made me and many others laugh and he had no fear. I will never forget his laugh. It is so surreal that he is gone. I have cried a lot of tears in the last month.”
The memorial concerts will take place at The Ship and the Rock House, and all proceeds will be donated to the Jay Smith Family Trust, a fund created in support of Jay’s family and two young children.
Performers at The Ship on Thursday will include Power, The Once, Amelia Curran, Joanna Barker and Fortunate Ones (Andrew O'Brien and Catherine Allan).
The show will get underway at 8 p.m.
Friday’s 10 p.m. show at the Rock House will feature Mark Bragg and the Butchers, Tim Baker and members of Hey Rosetta!, The Novaks, Liz Solo and Mike Kean, Pathological Lovers and Neil Conway.
Tickets are $30 for each show and are available at The Ship and Fred’s Records.