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Jay Lawrence

Celebrated musician Jay Lawrence has enjoyed a diverse career as a performing and recording artist, composer, arranger, clinician, educator and adjudicator. He has been voted the “Best Drummer in Utah” and “Utah’s Favorite Jazz Drummer.” Versatile, creative and respected, Lawrence’s vast professional experience began when he joined the Musicians Union (AfofM) at age fifteen and was immediately in demand working as a percussionist for myriad celebrity shows in Reno, Lake Tahoe (and later Las Vegas), including Sammy Davis Jr., Lou Rawls, Della Reese, Liza Minelli, Cher, Gladys Knight, Dionne Warwick, Loretta Lynn, Nancy Sinatra, Tom Jones, Ben E. King, Ann-Margret, Linda Ronstadt and many others.

He has presented popular clinics and has adjudicated at the Lionel Hampton, Gene Harris and Park City International Jazz Festivals, and others. Jay has authored texts, including Drum Set Core Curriculum, Introduction to Musical Improvisation and Rhythmic Reading Text. Jay has numerous sound track credits ranging from movies, trailers, television and jingles to theme parks and Broadway musicals.


Play This!

Jay Lawrence and The Platinum Jazz Orchestra: Payin' My Dues

Read "Jay Lawrence and The Platinum Jazz Orchestra: Payin' My Dues" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Veteran drummer Jay Lawrence leads a powerful big band comprised of jazz luminaries such as Wayne Bergeron, Andy Martin, Bob Sheppard, Nestor Torres, and Ed Calle among others on a big band romp of primarily original compositions. One of them, “Don't Blame Me," showcases the vocals of award-winning blues and gospel singer Dee Daniels accompanied by trombonist Brian Woodbury and saxophonist Bob Sheppard. Daniels' emotional performance and reaching vocals marks this piece of magical moments one song on this fusion-tinged ...

Album Review

Jay Lawrence: Sonic Paragon

Read "Sonic Paragon" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Sonic Paragon is a satisfying set grounded in the idea of broad appeal. Drummer Jay Lawrence is no purist, and he's certainly not stubbornly set on a single course, yet he's wholly cognizant of the fact that music is both for the makers and the takers. And with an understanding of that need for balance and some help from a real dream band, he creates a program that basically works for both sides of the fence. Opening ...

Radio & Podcasts

Jay Lawrence, Christian Scott & More

Read "Jay Lawrence, Christian Scott & More" reviewed by Joe Dimino

Neon Jazz continues to showcase the young talent in jazz today, and this week we profile the great jazz journey of Jay Lawrence, from his 2018 CD, Sonic Parago, to a cut from the legendary Dr. Lonnie Smith off the album Keep on Lovin'. Also featured is the rising Kansas City jazz saxophonist Stephen Martin with a song off his new CD, Vision and tracks from some of today's best players like Christian Scott, Jon Batiste and ...

Album Review

Jay Lawrence Trio: Thermal Strut

Read "Thermal Strut" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

Drummer Jay Lawrence has a long and serious resume which includes teaching, composing, arranging, and working with everyone from Sammy Davis and Cher to Phil Woods and James Moody. While he's been on more than ninety recordings, this is his first as a leader--and it's a corker.

This is partly because Lawrence couldn't have chosen better shipmates for his maiden voyage: Lynn Seaton, an always-in-demand bassist whose playing is unusually rich, imaginative, and moving; and (relative) newcomer Tamir Hendelman, whose ...

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Payin’ My Dues

Self Produced


Sonic Paragon

Jazz Hang Records


Sweet Lime

Jazz Hang Records


Thermal Strut

Origin Records


Agua De Beber

From: Thermal Strut
By Jay Lawrence

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