Jai Smith, Tenor I
Jai has been singing with Reveille for over 5 years. Not only is he a very popular member of the Tenor section but he has served on the board of directors of Reveille for several years as a member and as Secretary of the Board and has dedicated his time and many talents behind the scenes to help make Reveille the great performing arts organization we are today!
When were you born? October 12, 1987
Where did you grow up? Born: Scranton, PA. Raised: Tucson.
When did you move to Tucson? 1991.
What brought you to Tucson? My family moved to Tucson.
What do you do for a living? I am a Health Education Specialist at Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, teaching youth healthy communication, HIV/STI prevention, and substance abuse risk reduction.
How long have you been with Reveille? I have been singing with Reveille for five years.
What motivated you to join? Ajia Simone convinced me to come to a rehearsal. I have been singing since I was a freshman in High School, and I wanted to keep singing throughout my college career, but couldn't justify taking the classes in lieu of other classes.
What keeps you coming back? I keep coming back because I love the friendships I have formed, the ability to connect with folks of different ages and experiences, and the way that I can interact with other gay, bi, and straight men outside of the bar scene!
Have things changed much since you joined? They have changed! I started singing with Reveille Men's Chorus when Linus Lerner was the Artistic Director and the musical selection was more classical choral music. Since then Reveille has a new Artistic Director and the musical selection is geared more towards a show choir. Personally I like both forms of choir, and have fun with both forms. I feel that the new direction of Reveille is pushing me in a way that is developing me as a performer!
If you could pick any song for Reveille to sing what would it be? Aha by Imogen Heap, or a whole show that is dedicated to Big Band and Swing.
What is your fondest Reveille memory so far? Either, my first performance and sitting in the dressing room with Ajia Simone and Shawn Cullen going over music and laughing out all of my nerves. Or, going to GALA in Denver with everyone and getting a chance to meet talented singers from around the world!
When you were a little boy what did you dream of being when you grew up? A Star! But I would have settled for being successful, talented and well loved. Now I will settle for making my car payment on time.
What do you like to do for fun (besides Reveille)? I enjoy hiking, dancing, and painting. Pretty much anything that I can do that will help me to flex my creativity muscles!
What's your favorite place to hang-out here in Tucson? Cafe Passe is always one of my favorite spots. Great food and drink, great space, and free live jazz music.
What's your favorite movie? Tank Girl with Lori Petty, Naomi Watts, and Malcom McDowell or Mirrormask by Jim Henson and Neil Gaiman.
Besides choral music, what kind of music do you enjoy listening to? I'm really a fan of all things musical. I also love listening to 90s alternative and pop.
What's your biggest regret? Taking so long to get my BA at the University of Arizona.
What really pisses you off? Poor Drivers, though I'm not so great myself. “Pot, there’s a Kettle on line one.”
What's your best asset? My dedication. When I am passionate about something I will work to make it a success.
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be? I wish I could learn to say no and not be so over-committed. But that really makes me, me.
If you could go back in time and change one decision you made when you were younger what would that be? Looking back, there were many things that I could change, but I don't think I would actually change anything.
If you could choose one person (any person living or dead) to spend an evening with who would that be? Patti Labelle or Lori Petty
If you won the lottery tomorrow how would it change about the way you live (besides making a nice donation to Reveille)? I would dedicate my time to doing HIV prevention and helping with causes that are hard to get grant funding for.
Who do you admire the most? My mom. She has been through a lot, and still struggles a lot with her health. I admire her passion and her vision, and I admire the fact that when she wants to achieve something she won't stop till she achieves it. She is also completely dedicated to her children, and I hope to be as good of a parent.
Any parting words you’d care to share? No.Ha!