After leading a quartet under his own name (The Will Smith Quartet) for several years, W.E.S. decided to form a group with a different focus. He wanted the group to transcend the traditional classification of jazz from strictly art music, to music that has a world flavor and is not only enjoyed but inspires the best in people.
Echoes of ancestral and native sounds can be heard in this collective of talented musicians, whose folk jazz and acoustic approach create a distinctive sound of peace and beauty. Exceptional musicians in their own right, the collaboration of these seasoned musicians exhibits the passion and spirit of a “great camp meeting in the promised land” of jazz.
• “The Story of Humanity: A Human Story.” The W.E.S. Group H2 Jazz, 2012.
• “Hip Hop and Jazz.” W.E.S. h2pro records, 2011.
• “Castries Underground.” Luther Francois. LRF Soundworks, 2005.
• “Ancestors.” The W.E.S. Group. H2 Jazz, 2006.
• “A Jazz Mass.” The W.E.S. Group. H2 Jazz, 2005.
• “Aster’s Ballads.” Aster Aweke. Kabu Records, 2004.
• “Wayna: Moments of Clarity.” Wayna. Quiet Power, 2004.
• “Straight Gate 2003.” Straight Gate Church. Verity Records, 2003.
• “Live at Radio City Music Hall.” Hezekiah Walker. Verity Records, 2002.
• “Monique Miller.” Monique Miller. H2Pro Records. Orpheus/EMI, 2002.
• “The W.E.S. Group.” The W.E.S. Group. Het-Heru Jazz, Orpheus/EMI 2002.
• “Give Thanks.” Leonard Jack and Fusion. MUTEMAMUSIC, 2000.
• “Listen.” The Will Smith Quartet. Het-Heru Productions, 1998.
Performance Highlights for The W.E.S. Group
• Performance at the Cherry Blossom Festival,Washington DC 2012.
• Step Afrika/WES Performance at the Gnaoua Festival Essaouira, Morocco 2010
• Hip Hop and Jazz Project Workshop and Performance at the DC Jazz Festival,
Washington DC 2006-2012.
• Performed at ‘When Harlem Came to Paris” at the French Alliance,
Washington DC 2009, 2010.
• Step Afrika/WES Group Collaboration Original Composition “Trane”
Performance at the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival, Washington DC 2008.
• Performed at the Bonaire Jazz Festival in Bonaire 2007.
• Performed at the BET St. Lucia Jazz Festival in St. Lucia 2007.
• Performed at the BET Tranquility Jazz Festival in Anguilla 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008.
• Performed original composition entitled “Jazz Mass” at the International
Association for Jazz Education Conference in New York, NY 2006.
• Performed an original composition entitled “Jazz Mass” at the International
Association for Jazz Education Conference in Long Beach, CA 2005.
• Performed at the Democratic National Convention 2000 with two-time Grammy
award nominee Caravana Cubana.
• Performed at John Conyer’s 70th birthday party at BET Jazz Restaurant with
James Moody, Donald Byrd, & Kenny Burrell. President Bill Clinton, Maxine
Waters, Dick Gregory, Vivica Fox, and Bob Johnson of BET were also in
attendance (May 13, 1999).
• Featured guest on “Jazz Impressions” at BET on Jazz (March 5, 1999)
• Performed in numerous venues in the D.C. metropolitan area including Bohemian Caverns,
Twins Lounge, Blues Alley, Takoma Station, and Zanzibar 1998-present.