BZ Smith

BZ began performing on storytelling stages in 1974. One of California’s early professional tellers and an innovator in the Tandem Storytelling style, BZ founded three tandem storytelling troupes, including the widely acclaimed Story Quilters (1995 to 2009). The Story Quilters won a Parents’ Choice Gold Award for their premiere recording, toured extensively, and performed for the National Storytelling Festival’s 2005 Exchange Place.

This Fall BZ released a new CD, “Striking Up Gold Mountain: Stories and Songs of the California Gold Rush.” With help from musician Peggy Reza, they share the rich lore of the Mother Lode. “I’ve lived in this part of California for so long that the history of our mountains has sifted into my bones,” says BZ.

BZ is the National Storytelling Network’s regional liaison and advisor. She won that organization’s 2011 Oracle Award for Service & Leadership in the Pacific States Region.

Says Smith, “The best part of telling for such an event is being in the audience listening to other tellers!”