Born in New York City, Joel LaRue Smith attended The City University of New York where he earned his Bachelor of Music in classical music composition. He received a Masters of Music in jazz piano from Manhattan School of Music. His CD, September's Child is comprised of seven original Afro Cuban jazz compositions, and several Latin jazz standards. He is a contributing writer to JazzED magazine, with numerous published articles and essays on Latin jazz and jazz. Widely traveled, he was appointed a Cultural Envoy to Costa Rica and Guatemala, and has also led tours to Cuba, Costa Rica, Portugal, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.