“Musically, the work here is exceptional. Jordan Li-Smith plays the piano and conducts proceedings with a ferocity, an impassioned clarity, that reminds one of Leonard Bernstein. ” 

 

— Live Theatre UK, on the acclaimed 2016 actor-musician off-west end production of 'Ragtime'

About

Based in London and West Berkshire, Jordan is a writer & composer, as well as an award-winning musical director.

 

He is currently writing and composing a musical adaptation of the novel, The Boy who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair, by Lara Williamson. 

 

He received high praise for his music direction of the actor-musician revival of Ragtime at Charing Cross Theatre in 2016. Since then, Jordan has gone on to win two Off-West End Theatre awards and a BroadwayWorld UK Award, as well as being at the musical forefront of many significant UK and world premieres. He made his West End conducting debut in 2020, conducting the Donmar Warehouse revival of City of Angels at the Garrick.

As of both Hong Kong and Welsh heritage, Jordan is a proud advocate of Asian representation in theatre.

Current & Upcoming Engagements

In November 2022, Jordan will be conducting A Little Night Music for Mountview Academy of Performing Arts.

In December 2022, Jordan will be conducting Merrily We Roll Along for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Jordan is currently workshopping The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair with the musical theatre department of the University of Winchester.

Full Credits

Training: Royal Academy of Music (PGDipRAM), Sir Elton John Scholarship & Help Musicians UK. Associate of the London College of Music (ALCM in Piano Performance). Alumni of the National Youth Music Theatre and The Hammond.

As writer/composer: The Boy who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair (currently in development with National Youth Music Theatre); Jordan’s song Better Day was featured as part of On Hope: A Digital Song Cycle. It was subsequently chosen as a winner of The Drama League’s Anthems for the Future of Theater competition, and was performed by Broadway star Bonnie Milligan in Light the Lights! A Drama League Celebration in New York, in honour of Broadway actor, Wayne Brady.

 

As musical supervisor: The Lion (Southwark Playhouse); the original London cast recording of Queen of the Mist (Jack Studio Theatre, transfer to Charing Cross - Musical Supervisor & Conductor).

 

As musical director: City of Angels (Garrick, Assistant Musical Director); the UK première of Michael John LaChuisa’s Queen Of The Mist (Jack Studio Theatre, transfer to Charing Cross - winner, Off West End Award for Best Musical Director); Ragtime (Charing Cross - winner, Off West End Award for Best Musical Direction & Best Musical Production); The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Manchester Cathedral, NYMT); Les Misérables (Mountview, non-replica UK première); Chess (Leicester Curve, NYMT); the UK première of Amour (Charing Cross - nominated, Off West End Award for Best Musical Director); the UK première of Dave Malloy's Preludes (Southwark Playhouse & livestream); Starry (industry workshop); One Man, Two Guvnors (Octagon Theatre, Liverpool Playhouse, Theatre By The Lake);  the world première of The Assassination Of Katie Hopkins (Theatr Clwyd - winner, BroadwayWorld UK Award for Best Musical Direction); the UK première of The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (Theatre Royal, Stratford East); Our Man From Havana (industry workshop); Anything Goes (Other Palace); Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (ArtsEd); Through The Mill (Southwark Playhouse); Amour (Royal Academy Of Music - nominated, BroadwayWorld Award for Best Fringe/Regional Musical Direction); Guest Conductor of the London Musical Theatre Orchestra; Next To Normal (Royal Academy Of Music); Sweet Charity (Urdang Academy); The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee  (Guildford School Of Acting); The Addams Family (Chichester University); Spring Awakening (Stockwell Playhouse); Bring It On (Bird College); Grand Hotel, Once On This Island (Momentum Performing Arts Academy, UK & Malta Tour); Curtain Up! Royal Academy of Music Musical Theatre 20th Anniversary Concert (Prince Edward, Assistant Musical Director); Musical Theatre Industry Showcase, Royal Academy of Music (Sir Jack Lyons Theatre, Assistant Musical Director).

 

As orchestrator/arranger: Amour; Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin; Sweet Charity; Curtain Up! Royal Academy of Music Musical Theatre 20th Anniversary Concert (co-orchestrator); Musical Theatre Industry Showcase, Royal Academy of Music (co-orchestrator). Co-orchestrator for the London Musical Theatre Orchestra

Film: Rocketman (Children’s Casting MD/Featured Cameo) 

Recordings: Original London cast recording of Queen of the Mist (Musical Supervisor/Conductor); Make Them Hear You Charity video for StopWatch (Musical Director).

Jordan made his cabaret debut as part of the My Myra Series at Bishopsgate Institute, with his cabaret My Myra: Songs I Wish I Had Written

Twitter: @jordanli_smith

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Awards

Off West End ​Award, Best Musical Director (Winner)

Queen of the Mist 

Off West End ​Award, Best Musical Director (nominated)

Amour 

BroadwayWorldUK Award, Best Musical Direction (Winner)

The Assassination of Katie Hopkins

Off West End ​Award, Best Musical Director (Winner)

Ragtime

AlsoRecognised ​Award, Best Musical Director (Runner Up)

Ragtime

 
 

Testimonials

"I have worked with Jordan several times, most notably as Musical Director on Ragtime at Charing Cross Theatre. Ours was an actor musician production, which required all the players to be off book. Jordan memorised the entire score and played it beautifully, sometimes with each hand on a different piano and while being swung around the stage on moving platforms! It was a sight to behold. He’s also the nicest, most dedicated man one could ask to work with."

Danielle Tarento

Producer & Casting Director

"The finest thing about Mountview's production of Les Misérables was Jordan Li-Smith's conducting of the score. It was breathtakingly good."

Rebecca Caine

Actress & Soprano

2010 - present
2010 - present

"Jordan is a wonderful collaborator who matches an almost encyclopaedic knowledge and respect for music in theatre with a strong creative instinct, a sharp wit and a heart full of empathy towards those who work with him. "

Dean Johnson

Director

"I love working with Jordan. His energy and enthusiasm are infectious, his command and sheer knowledge a joy to share in. Plus, he loves Judy Garland. I would work with him again in a heartbeat."

Matt Ryan

Director

"Jordan is a singularly excellent music director. His sensitivity to an actor’s process and how that inspires them to have a greater sense of strengthening their musical acting is unparalleled in the industry. His masterful command of everything from small bands to full size symphony orchestras, and how quickly he is able create a unified ensemble,  is testament to his exceptional talent. Jordan also has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the musical form and from this, he is able to make creative and exciting decisions that have perfectly informed and made my productions better."

Alex Sutton

Director

"Jordan is an extraordinarily talented and brilliant MD, a superlative musician and generous collaborator. I loved working with him, and will do so again at every opportunity."

James Grieve

Director & former Artistic Director of Paines Plough