Emmanuel "Chops" Smith is a pianist and vocalist who has been performing professionally since he was 15 years old. He has been playing piano since age 3 and has been trained in classical, jazz, and contemporary music. "Chops" has performed in venues all over the Southeast including The Rialto Center of the Performing Arts, The Margaret Mitchell House, The Georgian Terrace Hotel, The Georgia Aquarium, Churchill Grounds, The Velvet Note, The Red Clay Theater. He has also had the pleasure and privilege to perform with Russell Malone, Chris Potter, Sarah Partridge and work with many different jazz personalities including Gary and Veronica Motley, Theresa Hightower, Mike Abene, Bobby Shew, Paquito D’Rivera, Kenny Werner, Bob Franceschini, Bob Reynolds and Randy Brecker.
After receiving his Jazz Studies degree from Georgia State University, “Chops”became the current Music Director for North Decatur United Methodist Church and Faith Forward Church. He prides himself as a pianist that crosses multiple genres. Including the churches he works on a regular basis, he travels all over the Southeast, United States and performs in bands based out of Atlanta, GA including the Nick Longo Band, Artimus and Big Bling and the Funk Machine (Music Gardens). He continues to build a reputation as a bandleader with his two bands, The CHOPS Experience and the Emmanuel “Chops” Smith Trio.
“Chops” released his debut jazz album, CHOPS in November of 2017. The jazz trio record consists of “Billy” Thornton on bass and Justin Varnes on drums. Luke Weathington is featured on saxophone and Lisa Chauntel (Green) is featured on vocals.