Jarrod Lawson: piano, keyboards, vocals
Trent Baarspul: guitars
Christopher James Friesen: bass
Cory Vincent Limauco: drums
Sammy Figueroa: congas
Jarrod Lawson is a product of the creative community that abounds in Portland, Oregon, and is currently touring one of the strongest concert presentations in contemporary music. As a composer, keyboardist, and singer he is heavily influenced by Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway. Like those legends, he incorporates social and spiritual messages into his uplifting sound. His talents reflect a broad range of musical knowledge, including artists with a deeper connection to jazz; as a vocalist alone, he has been favorably compared to Al Jarreau and Mark Murphy.
Jarrod grew up surrounded by music, due in large part to his father, who operated a recording studio in the family's Redwood City, California home. First attracted to the drums as a toddler, his interest in music continued to develop throughout his childhood, which included a move north to Oregon. In college, he studied music and participated in a chamber choir and jazz ensemble. His reputation as a solo performer was built through numerous gigs in Portland, where he developed a large fan base, which led to opening engagements for a number of highly regarded jazz, pop, R&B artists.
His harmonically rich, self-titled debut recording has been a favorite of the BBC’s Gilles Peterson, and other DJs and R&B fans who dug beneath the surface of commercial radio. The album received the Soul Artist of the Year award from Jazz FM in London.
He has performed to enthusiastic audiences at The North Sea Jazz Festival, The Umbria Jazz Festival, The Saratoga Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scott's in London, Billboard Live in Tokyo, The August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh, PA, The City Winery in Atlanta, Blues Alley in Washington DC, Jazz Alley in Seattle, and The Iridium Room in New York City.
In 2018, Jarrod will embark on a world tour in support of a highly anticipated new recording.
Suffice to say that this soul-jazz jewel of an album is filled with more great songs, musicianship, and vocals than you’d get from any three projects by almost anyone else….. I can’t stop playing it and won’t be doing so for some considerablle time. Way to set the standard, Jarrod. 5 stars. (Chris Wells, Soul Sides)
Jarrod Lawson tour review: the blue-eyed soul boy of jazz shines again at the Jazz Café…. It’s not just Lawson’s wide-ranging tenor and ability to swing, scat and groove that has made him the biggest soul-jazz sensation in years. It’s the way he’s bringing spirituality back to a genre that had lost its depth. (Jane Cornwell, The Evening Standard)
Two sold out nights at an iconic British venue (Ronnie Scott’s). The string of tracks from the album – ‘Music And Its Magical Way’, ‘Sleepwalkers’, ‘Together We’ll Stand’ and ‘Everything I Need’ – match if not top the beauty of the studio performance. (Kevin Le Gendre, Jazz Wise Magazine)