Smoker, Paul (Alva)
- Gary W. Kennedy
(b Muncie, IN, May 8, 1941; d Perinton, NY, May 14, 2016). American trumpeter and leader. He grew up in Davenport, Iowa, and had piano lessons from the age of six; when he was ten, after hearing Harry James on the radio, he took up trumpet and studied both classical and jazz playing. He later attended the University of Iowa (BM 1964, MA 1965, MFA 1967, DMA 1974). From 1960 to 1961 he worked with Dodo Marmarosa for a series of engagements in Rock Island, Illinois, and in the mid-1960s he had lessons for a short time with Doc Severinsen and played briefly in Bill Chase’s band. Between 1968 and 1971 Smoker taught at the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh and recorded and performed in Chicago; given his later inclination towards the avant garde, it is interesting to note that at this time he played mainly in bop and swing groups and was unaware of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Having finished his doctorate he taught at the University of Northern Iowa (...