Jami Smith grew up in the small town of Chickasha, Oklahoma. She proudly recalls her life as a kid on a farm running with abandon through golden wheat fields, riding ATV's with her brothers and singing at church.
These small town values have shaped who Jami Smith is today. Often recognized as one of the leading worship leaders of our time, a moment with Jami Smith will never reveal her significance in the world of music, in particular "worship music."
"When I was a student at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, OK, I had the choice to pursue music or sports," Smith says. "I wanted to be the next Amy Grant until one day one of my mentors said 'I think God told me that you are a worship leader.' He got my attention. At that time, a worship leader was always a male who stood in front of the church singing traditional hymns. God began to show me what this direction meant. I felt like God was telling me to start singing songs to Him. So, instead of emulating wonderful women who had impacted me (Amy Grant, Margaret Becker etc.), I starting writing and singing songs that were true to who God was calling me to be in the world of music ."
For over 15 years, Jami Smith has traveled the world using music as a tool to connect people to a loving and merciful God. "When I take the stage, if I give you ME, then I cheat you but if I set the stage for you to converse with your creator then that is success."
Smith's songs are played on radio stations around the world.
Your Love is Deep is a favorite for churches.
Salt and Light from her 2002 release "Wash Over Me" hovered at the top of the charts and is still widely played.
Faith in You her title track to her 2008 release was named one of the top Worship albums of '08 by Christianity Today. The title track was featured in Oklahoma City's St. Anthony Hospital holiday commercials. This project received several Addy Awards in '08 & '09.
Hope of All the Earth, Jami's Christmas album was noted once again by Christianity Today as "something of a revelation. An excellent Christmas project...with originals like 'Draw Near Emmanuel' and 'Birthday of the King' shine with resplendent harmonies similar to Alison Krauss. Hope could well be Smith's best album."
Jami Smith's life was changed because of significant teachers who took the time to care. "My high school music teacher said to me 'You could really do something with music if you settle down and focus.'
The miracle is not only did someone take the time to tell me but that I actually listened. I could go through my life and rattle off scores of selfless teachers who have been a part of who I am today."
Jami has hosted her annual Oklahoma City You Dreamed for Me Christmas Concert to Oklahoma educators. A community favorite with the support of community, business, religious and political leaders. Jami hopes that this effort to honor teachers in her home state of Oklahoma will spread to every state in some way. Let's take time and say "thank you" to a teacher. Hear Jamis song You Dreamed for Me by going to her store. All of her music is also available for download on ITunes.com.