Erik Lawrence plays Saxophones and Flutes. He has received a Meet-the-Composer Grant for his music composition. He began playing sax at five years old under the guidance of his father, the late 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.
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, Bonnaroo, Merlefest, Enjoy Jazz, London Jazz Festival, Molde Jazz, Pori Jazz, Mountain Jam, 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 current original projects include HIPMOTISM, featuring Grammy nominee Steven Bernstein, bassist Rene Hart and drummer Allison Miller (April 2007 CD released); MERGE Poetry/Music project featuring poet Cassandra Cleghorn, Rene Hart and Allison Miller (October 2006 CD released). Artists performing with him have included Garth Hudson, David Amram, Mark Egan, Steven Bernstein, Dave Tronzo, Aaron Comess, Mark White, Eric Schenkman, Alex Blake, Cameron Brown, Lonnie Plaxico, John Pizzarelli; and poets Jane LeCroy, Frank Messina, Robert Pinksy, Anne Waldman, Andrei Cordrescu and many, many others.
Erik currently plays with legendary Levon Helm’s Band, where he has shared the stage with Elvis Costello, Allen Toussaint, Jack DeJohnette, Robert Plant and Allison Kraus, Cheryl Crow, John Hiatt, Emmylou Harris, Rickie Lee Jones, Nick Lowe, Gillian Welch, Warren Haynes, Phil Lesh, Bruce Hornsby, Phoebe Snow and many others. He is also proudly an original member of Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra.