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Panelist: Paul Smoker
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Paul Smoker

Jazz Trumpet Artist, Composer
Adjunct Director of Jazz Studies
Nazareth College
Rochester, New York

On May 15, 2009 jazz trumpeter, composer, and educator Paul Smoker received his HeartMate II Left Ventricular Assist Device. Dr. H. Todd Massey performed the surgery after Paul’s eight years with progressive heart failure, diagnosed following a major heart attack in 2001. He attributes his recovery and rejuvenation not only to the HeartMate II, but to the excellent continuing care of the heart failure and LVAD specialists at Strong Memorial Hospital, along with wife Beverly and cardiologist Dr. Joseph Delehanty. Paul currently directs the jazz studies program at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY, and was able to get back to teaching by the end of August. He began practicing the trumpet again shortly after, and by April, 2010, he was playing at his usual level. His quartet, the Paul Smoker Notet, was reunited in July for performances in Rochester and the Midwest.

He studied jazz and classical music while growing up in Davenport, Iowa, and received a doctorate in music from the University of Iowa. Paul is on some fifty recordings as a leader and sideman and has played with some of the finest musicians in jazz. For over twenty years he taught music at the Universities of Iowa, Northern Iowa, Wisconsin–Oshkosh, and Coe College. Having retired to upstate New York in 1990, when wife Beverly was hired as Coordinator of Piano at Nazareth College, he teaches part time, and performs and composes. He has been Composer-in-Residence for the Rochester School of the Arts and Cornell University.

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