Brian Lawrence is an educator, saxophonist, pianist, and composer with an active focus in jazz and commercial music. Brian is completing his graduate studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he was a Graduate Teaching Assistant. Brian played tenor saxophone in the acclaimed UNLV Jazz Ensemble I, Hammond Organ in the 2021 DownBeat Student Music Award-Winning Vinnie Falcone Organ Quartet, and directed UNLV Jazz Ensemble 3. Brian also was recently recognized as the 2021 DownBeat Student Music Award Soloist Winner in the Graduate Blues/Pop/Rock Category. Later this summer, Brian will be a 2021 participant of the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Academy, led by Artistic Director Christian McBride, Frost School of Music Dean Shelly Berg, and Program Director Chuck Bergeron.
Brian holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Broad Area Music Education from Central Washington University and a minor through the William O. Douglas Honors College. While at CWU, Brian had the opportunity to travel and perform at the 2015 Monterey Jazz Festival, 2013 Jazz Education Network Conference, the Stanford Jazz Workshop in the Czech Republic, Whistler, British Columbia, and numerous engagements around the Pacific Northwest. Brian has also worked at the Stanford Jazz Workshop as a musician for Princess and Holland America Cruise Lines and toured the U.S. with “The Carpenter’s Tribute featuring Michelle Whited.”
Also active as a composer and arranger, Brian’s works have been featured by Grammy-winning saxophonist Tia Fuller, Joshua Redman, on Nevada Public Radio, at the Tournament of Roses Parade, the Boeing Classic PGA Golf Tournament, and a Seattle Seahawks halftime show. Brian also writes and produces many arrangements for Carnival Cruise Lines, writes for local jazz ensembles, and produces educational materials.
Equally passionate about music education, Brian spent three years teaching public school music in the Bellevue and Mercer Island School Districts, and has taught numerous clinics and summer workshops. Brian has presented at the Jazz Education Network Conference, Washington Music Educators Association Conference and has been featured on Microsoft’s Education Blog. He is very excited to return to CWU to give back to the program that helped him start his career.