Hank Smith (Lecturer) grew up in rural Florence, South Carolina, where he adopted the banjo as his instrument and his passion as a teenager. He honed his skills at the Saturday jam sessions of the nearby Southeastern Bluegrass Association. As a student at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Smith expanded his musical influences to include all manner of rock, jazz, reggae, folk, blues, and classical, while earning a B.A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies, followed by an M.A. in Middle Eastern History.
A professional musician based in Raleigh, Smith plays with the progressive bluegrass band Hank, Pattie & the Current, whose second album, Hold Your Head High, appears on Robust Records (2017). Previous bands include Hank Smith & Lindsey Tims, The Morning After, The Kickin’ Grass Band, and Barefoot Manner. He is a graduate of the IBMA Leadership Bluegrass program, a member of the Local Organizing Committee for IBMA’s World of Bluegrass, and co-founded the non-profit American Music Foundation of North Carolina, Inc.
Smith has extensive experience teaching banjo, mandolin, and guitar. He is also a composer, with composition credits on five tracks of Hold Your Head High. Outside his musical work, Smith writes novels.