Erik Lawrence plays Saxophones and Flutes. He has received a Meet-the-Composer Grant for his writing. He began playing sax at five years old under the guidance of his father, jazz musician, founder of the New School of Jazz in NYC and the International Center for Creative Music Studies in Jerusalem, Rock and Roll Guru Arnie Lawrence, who told him to "Play what you feel." Thus beginning what has been a lifelong spiritual quest through music. He is at home playing in various styles, from tradition to experimental, from large ensembles to solo.
Erik currently teaches jazz saxophone at Williams College and the Putney School. He also will be Artist-In-Residence at the Williams College Museum of Art for the Gerald Murphy exhibit during the fall 2007 semester, focusing on multimedia creative response. He has taught sax, jazz, jazz history, ensembles, and methods classes at Montclair State University (94-2000) and Rockland Community College (80-84). He has also taught saxophone and flute to all ages and improvisation to all instruments for well over 20 years and is available for clinics.
By now he has brought his original melodic and rhythmic approach to Europe, Across the United States, South America and the Caribbean. He has performed Solo improvised saxophone at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York and has been the featured performer at the World Peace Festival and has performed in Europe at the Northsea Jazz, Discover Jazz, Montreal Jazz, Molde Jazz, Pori Jazz, Porto Saalfelden Jazz and Moers festivals in Europe, the Free Jazz Festival in Brazil, the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Berkshire Jazz Festival and Bumbershoots.
Erik leads and plays with various ensembles. His sidemen have included Garth Hudson, Mark Egan, Steven Bernstein, Dave Tronzo, Aaron Comess, Mark White, Eric Schenkman, Alex Blake, Cameron Brown, Lonnie Plaxico, John Pizzarelli, Murali Coryell; and poets Jane LeCroy, Frank Messina and many, many others. His current original projects include HIPMOTISM, featuring Grammy nominee Steven Bernstein and drummer Allison Miller (April 2007 CD released); MERGE Poetry/Music project featuring poet Cassandra Cleghorn and Allison Miller (October 2006 CD released)
Erik has also currently or recently performed and recorded with legendary Levon Helm Band, legendary jazz drummer Chico Hamilton; with Steven Bernstein's much acclaimed Millennial Territory Orchestra;, Branford Marsalis, and The Masters of the Groove, featuring Bernard Purdie, Grant Green Jr. and Reuben Wilson.