For 30 years he worked as a session-touring guitarist and bassist for such act as Chi-Lites, R. Kelly, share the stage with Najee, Stanley Jordan. During that time he also worked as a clinician, educator and journalist. As a recording artist for his own label Kenn Smith Music, he has written, produced and release six (6) CD's.
To this day his reputation continues to grow as he is recognize as one of the most diverse guitarist and bassist in the world. Admired by many for his eclectic versatility as a musician and composer in all areas of music notably jazz, jazz fusion, ambient, electronic music, rock .
It all began when the family move to the south-side of Chicago in 1975, Smith began his guitar studies at age 13 with a visit to the local music store purchasing two Mel Bay books. In 1977 Michelle Clark Middle School honored him with a art scholarship to the School of Art Institute of Chicago where he studied Electronic Music. In 1978, the family moved to Maywood, Illinois. At the age of 16, he began classical studies with guitarist Bruce Walters and later continue studies at Jack Cecchini Studio in Chicago till 1982.
While attending Proviso East High School, he played electric/classical guitar, bass and timpani in the Proviso Township Orchestra, guitar and bass in the Proviso East High School jazz band.
"The high school jazz band is were I got my first taste of fame. At a 1981 two day school assembly the jazz band performed "25, 6 to 4" by the group CHICAGO. The song featured me on guitar. I had just learned "Eruption" by Eddie Van Halen so during my solo I performed the two hand hammering technique. The audience went crazy, I got a standing ovation both days. News spread throughout half the western suburbs of Chicago about my performance. My reputation was made. Still to this day, people are still talking about me."