Courtney Isaiah Smith was born on a very cold and snowy morning December 30, 1983 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The son of Shelley O and Carolyn E Smith and although it was a cold and snowy morning, he lit our hearts and home with so much love. God called our loving son home on January 25, 2021.
Courtney attended school in Salt Lake City, Utah. A graduate of East High School, he then attended the University of Utah to further his formal education. A Music Composition Major, he received his Bachelor of Music Degree in 2009.
He began playing piano at the age of 3 solely by ear and grew up listening to all kinds of music, R&B, Gospel, Rock and Classical. Without any “formal” training, he played with his right hand only until an uncle taught him to play with his left. Falling asleep listening to music and songs he would memorize and play the next morning. At age six he began playing for the Calvary Missionary Baptist Church choir. Giving his life to Christ at age 12 he joined Calvary and eventually became the church’s primary pianist. His abilities and passion allowed him to serve in capacities of Worship Leader, Sound Technician, Director, and Vocalist.
Courtney taught as an Adjunct Professor of Jazz Studies at Utah State University, Weber State University, University of Utah and most recently Westminster College. He also taught private music lessons.
An outstanding and well known Utah artist, Courtney’s genius as a composer, arranger, beat maker, and songwriter, provided opportunities to play with Gerald Albright, David “Fathead” Newman, John P. Key, Donald Lawrence, Myron Butler and KJ Scriven to name a few. A recording artist in his own right, Courtney played for Salt Lake City Mass Choir and Co-Founded Jazz Vespers hosted by First Unitarian Church. He also played several other venues in the Salt Lake valley such as: Gracies, Motown Revue, Utah Arts Festival, Excellence in the Community, Hopkins Brewery, and The Bayou. Along with his sweetheart Jazmin Olivo, a jazz fusion group named “The Mix” was formed.
So few of us get to live out our passions and dreams, not only did Courtney’s authentic and eternal love of all things music allow him to live his passion, we will be forever grateful he shared his amazing gift with us all.
He leaves to cherish, mother, Carolyn E Smith; His Beloved Sweetheart, Jazmin Olivo, Brothers, Michael Wesley, Jonathan Strother; Grandfather, Lloyd M. Bass; Aunts, Zenobia Smith, Della Johnson, and Natasha Bass; and A host of uncles, cousins, and other loved ones
His service will be private, there will be no public admittance granted. We invite friends to attend his service and burial via livestream by returning to this site and clicking this “Watch Service Live” button on Saturday, February 6th at 11:00 AM.
His family is incredibly grateful and overwhelmed by the community support and expression of love. Thank you for respecting their wishes as they lay Courtney to rest in private.