“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 composer, lyricist & playwright, as well as an award-winning music director and orchestrator. 

 

He is a prominent creative in the Off-West End, receiving 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.

Upcoming Engagements

 

Jordan is currently writing a musical adaptation of an award-winning British children’s novel, soon to be announced.

Jordan will serve as Musical Director for the Bolton Octagon's production of One Man, Two Guvnors, in a co-production with Theatre by the Lake and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse. It will tour these venues from May-Sep 2022.

Jordan will serve as Musical Supervisor for The Lion, at Southwark Playhouse. It will play from 25 May - 25 June.

In August 2022, Jordan will be music directing and 

conducting Chess, at Leicester Curve, in a production for the National Youth Music Theatre.

Jordan is currently involved in developing the cult hit musical from the US, Starry.

Full Credits

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

As Composer/Playwright: 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 Bonnie Milligan in Light the Lights! A Drama League Celebration in New York, in honour of Broadway actor, Wayne Brady; Left Behind: Women of the War, a song cycle (premiere at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland).

As Musical Director: Starry (industry workshop); Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (ArtsEd); Les Misérables (Mountview, drama school première); The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Manchester Cathedral); City of Angels (Garrick, Assistant Musical Director); the UK première of Dave Malloy's Preludes (Southwark Playhouse and livestream); Amour (Charing Cross - nominated, Off West End Award for Best Musical Director); the world première of The Assassination Of Katie Hopkins (Theatr Clwyd - winner, BroadwayWorld UK Award for Best Musical Direction; winner, Best Musical Production in the UK Theatre Awards); Ragtime (Charing Cross - winner, Off West End Award for Best Musical Direction & Best Musical Production); 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); Anything Goes, Some Lovers (Other Palace), The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (Theatre Royal, Stratford East); Through The Mill (Southwark Playhouse); Bring It On (Bird College); The Addams Family (Chichester University); Sweet Charity (Urdang Academy); Spring Awakening (British Theatre Academy); the UK première of Amour (Royal Academy Of Music - nominated, BroadwayWorld Award for Best Fringe/Regional Musical Direction); Next To Normal (Royal Academy Of Music); The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Guildford School Of Acting); Grand Hotel, Once On This Island (Momentum Performing Arts Academy, UK & Malta Tour); Guest Conductor of the London Musical Theatre Orchestra. 

As Orchestrator: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (ArtsEd); Amour (Charing Cross/Royal Academy Of Music); Some Lovers (Other Palace); The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (Theatre Royal, Stratford East); Sweet Charity (Urdang Academy); 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

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Awards

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

Queen of the Mist (2020)

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

Amour (2020)

BroadwayWorldUK Award, Best Musical Direction (Winner)

The Assassination of Katie Hopkins (2018)

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

Ragtime (2017)

AlsoRecognised ​Award, Best Musical Director (Runner Up)

Ragtime (2017)

 
 

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

"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

"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 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

"Working with Jordan on The Assassination of Katie Hopkins was a real pleasure.  It was my first experience handing over a large-scale work of my own to an MD and I felt in very safe hands; Jordan really understood the musical language of the (somewhat complex!) piece and was an invaluable part of its development and performance."

Matt Winkworth

Composer

2010 - present
2010 - present