Airing nationally on PBS in 2016, Linda Marie Smith’s performance of “Mearra~Selkie From the Sea” was filmed at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago by Chris Olsen of Kai Harding Inc.. It premiered in March of 2015 on PBS in Chicago.
Throughout the performance, Linda’s original songs play alongside the beautiful cinematic animation created by Catherine and Sarah Satrun, adding layers of richness to this joyous and emotional tale of love, loss and transformation.
Linda Marie Smith was born and raised on the Northwest side of Chicago. She had many musical influences growing up, taking organ lessons in her early years, which led to piano, and then guitar. She attributes her love of music to her mother who exposed her to opera, ballet and musical theatre.
As a student she earned many awards for her state-wide piano competitions. While in college, Smith started performing at local clubs and coffee houses which inspired her to begin writing music of her own. Soon she began composing instrumental pieces which led to writing original songs. Smith found her voice and soon took to the stage performing in many venues across the Chicago area.
With the encouragement of other artists and an ever growing collection of songs, she began recording; and in 1998 she released her self-titled debut album. In 2000 Smith released a second album, "Blame it on the Moon," featuring renowned guitarist Michael Smith. In January 2006 she released her third album and her first multi-media experience, "Artemisia," with a debut at the world renowned Old Town School of Folk Music. Smith's second music/multimedia concert experience and fourth album titled "Mearra~Selkie From The Sea", produced by Rich Rankin, tells a mystical story of love loss and transformation based on the Celtic legend of the selkie.This new work made it's debut in March 2014 at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago, and will be airing nationally on PBS in 2016.
Smith's unique vocal style centers around a folk rock sensibility. Her music is romantic, soulful, earthy and mystical; her lyrics and melodies weave colorful stories of intriguing people and curious places. Performing and recording with a wide variety of acoustic arrangements allows her music to cross genres and appeal to a wide audience. Her music has been compared to the likes of Lorrena McKinnit , Natalie Merchant, and Sarah McLachlan.
Smith received honorable mention in the Billboard Songwriting Contest. She co-produced and performed in Michael Smith's "The Grapes of Wrath - A Folk Opera", and performed in his show "The Snow Queen", which was directed by Frank Galati and featured the Blair Thomas Puppetry Company. In addition to recording and performing, Smith teaches at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago and has been recognized by the Illinois Arts Council in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts.