Aaron Smith

ARMP Faculty

Instruments: Double Bass, Banjo, Guitar, Voice
Currently Teaching: Summer Programs

Aaron’s journey with the bass has followed a varied route. After a childhood spent exploring the electric bass and performing in as many venues as possible, he initially chose not to pursue music full-time, and began attending liberal arts school in Athens, Ohio. It was here, however, that he became introduced to bluegrass and old-time music, and took up the upright bass. Over the course of the next three years, Aaron pursued classical training while receiving his roots music education on the road with the old-time band, The Sandy Tar String Band. His ensemble traveled throughout the United States, Scandinavia, and Central Europe, learning traditional songs and melodies, playing club and festival shows, and busking on a daily basis.


Aaron settled in Chicago in 2014 and currently plays full-time as a bassist, vocalist, and banjoist with his bands Growler, The Wandering Boys, and Sunnyside Up.  He is a member of the thriving scene that surrounds Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, and although a bluegrass musician by trade, he regularly enters into the worlds of Chicago blues, traditional and modern jazz, country music, rockabilly, and contemporary rock and experimental music. Aaron has performed with such musicians as The Henhouse Prowlers, Oh Pep!, Tall Heights, Matt Brown, Rachel Eddy, Jim Becker, Steve Rosen, and Eric Lambert.