Erik Lawrence

Erik Lawrence, a longtime Levon Helm sideman, has built his career as a Saxophonist/Flutist/Composer/Music Journalist/Poet/Educator. Son of jazz saxophonist and rock and roll guru Arnie Lawrence, who founded the New School of Jazz in New York City and the International Center for Creative Music Studies in Jerusalem, Erik began playing saxophone at five years old.

Erik’s music is diverse, soulful, thoughtful, funky and deeply creative. Time and again Erik has been selected by artists for his strong, sensitive, unique voice and sensitivity to complement an artist’s music.

Erik currently leads Hipmotism, an innovative group featuring Sex Mob’s Steven Bernstein on slide trumpet, Allison Miller (Ani DiFranco’s drummer) and bassist Rene Hart.

His career as a sideman has been marked with legendary artists including Levon Helm, Buddy Miles, Chico Hamilton, Joan Osborne, Sonny Sharrock, The Spin Doctors, The Band with Bob Dylan, master Tibetan flutist Nawang Khechog as well as poets Robert Pinsky, Frank Messina, Jane LeCroy and Barry Wallenstein.

Proudly a member of legendary Levon Helm’s Band, (2010 Grammy winning Electric Dirt CD) with whom 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, Richie Havens, John Prine, Steve Earle, Nick Lowe, Willie Nelson, Gillian Welch, Warren Haynes, Phil Lesh, Buddy Miller, Donald Fagan, Swell Season, Allison Krauss and Robert Plant, Bruce Hornsby, Phoebe Snow and many others.

Erik has also been Jazz Saxophone and Flute adjunct professor and several classes at the prestigious Williams College since 2002.

Erik has performed on the following recent commercial recordings:

Levon Helm: Electric Dirt (2009)
Shem’s Disciples (featuring David Amram): Keep on Moving (2010)
Peter Salett: Addicted to Distraction (2010)
Junior League Band: Jelly Roll (2010)
Abby Ahmad: Curriculum (2010)
Gina Ferrera & The Philadelphia Gyil Fusion Project (2009)
Andrew Rothstein: With of the Staircase (2009)
Gordon Stone: Night Shade (2009)
Steven Bernstein’s Millenial Territory Orchestra: We Are MTO (2008)
Levon Helm Band: Merlefest Ramble 4/26/08 (2008)
Ollabelle: Before This Time(2008)
Joan As Policewoman: To Be Loved (2008)
Southside Johnny: Grapefruit Moon (2008)
Pete Levin: Certified Organic (2008)
Junior League Band: Mitchell Williams Fo Govena (2008)
Catherine Russell: (2008)
Roman Klun: Kingsway (2008)
Rebel Red: Sex, Religion, Politics (2008)
Soulfarm: Monkey Dance (2008)
Up South Twisters (2008)
Erik Lawrence and Hipmotism/HIPMOTISM (2007)
Darlene Love: It’s Christmas, Of Course (2007)
Erin McKeown: Lafayette (2007) (wrote horn arrangements)
Lisa McCormick: Talisman Groove (2007)
Merge: Merge (2006)
Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra: Vol 1 (2006)
Levon Helm All Stars: Midnight Ramble Vol 2 (2006)
Trey Anastasio: Dragonfly 2006
A Very Kid’s Christmas/Pottery Barn Kids (2005)
Robert Mosci: Holidays (2004)
Ultra Blue: Dust 2 Dawn (with Dave Stryker) (2003)
Chico Hamilton: Foreststorn (2001)
Chico Hamilton: Thoughts Of... (2002)
Gina Ferrera: Blended Beat
Xumantra: Dance of Life (2002)
Joan Osborne: Righteous Love (2002)
Robert Mosci: Frankly Speaking (2002)
Robert Mosci: One By One (1999)
Robert Mosci: First Portrait (1996);
Joe Gallant and Illuminati: Shadowland
Woodstock Holidays (with John Simon)
John Simon: Harmony Farm (1999)
King Happy: In My Country
Killer Joe: Scene of the Crime
Jackie Cain & Roy Kral: Jackie and Roy Forever (1994)
AC Reed and the Spark Plugs: Junk Food
Eric Schenkman and the Chrysalids: Make a Sound
Eric Schenkman: Don’t go to War
Marya Lawrence and Metamorphosis: All the Way Back
Deanna Kirk: Where are You Now
Sloan Wainwright (self titled)
Jonathan Best: Songs from Before (I got Laid)
Gabrielle Roth and the Mirrors with Boris Grebenshikov: Refuge
Chaula Hopefisher: Multi Colored Chant
Angus: Face the Day (with Levon Helm)

Erik has performed and/or recorded with numerous artists in his roles as sideman and bandleader. Notable artists include:

Chico Hamilton (legendary Jazz drummer)
Neville Family Affair (featuring Aaron Neville and his sons)
Buddy Miles
Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint
Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra
David Amram
Rickie Lee Jones
Sonny Sharrock (Avant Garde Guitar Legend)
The Band
Levon Helm
Bob Dylan
Robert Plant and Allison Krauss
Little Feat
Swell Season
Nawang Khechog (Tibetan Flute Master)
David Bromberg
The Spin Doctors
John Popper (from Blues Traveler)
Medeski Martin Wood
Darlene Love
Joan Osborne
Phil Lesh and Friends
Joan as Policewoman
Bruce Hornsby
Branford Marsalis
Masters of the Groove: Bernard Purdie, Grant Green Jr, Reuben Wilson
David Bromberg
Istanbul Orchestra
Jackie Cain and Roy Kral
Arnie Lawrence
John Cale (from Velvet Underground)
A.C. Reed (Chicago Blues Sax Legend)
David Tronzo (Slide Guitar Master)
Soul Farm (with Matisyahu)

Erik has been featured on the following film soundtracks and Television Programs:

Space Jam (That's the Way w/ Spin Doctors)
For the Love of the Game (Baby Love w/Joan Osborne)
A&E Biography: Malcolm X
HBO’s: Commercials, the 60 Second Seduction
My Night in Bohemia (Composed and Performed score)
The Comic’s Relief (Performed and Composed score)
Playboy’s Party Jokes
House of America (music by John Cale)
Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Conan O’Brien Show
David Letterman Show
Imus In the Morning (MSNBC, WABC syndicated radio)
Joan Lunden Show
Numerous TV commercials (Tropicana, ATT etc)
Word World (PBS children’s theme)

Erik began teaching at the college level the age of 18. He also is maintains a private teaching practice and appears as a clinician in many settings including the following:

*1980-1984 Adjunct at Rockland Community College, Suffern, NY
Course: History of Jazz
*1994-2000 Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ
Courses: Jazz Ensemble, Jazz History, Saxophone Ensemble Saxophone,
Saxophone, Flute and private Improvisation Instructor
*1998-2003 Ensemble and Saxophone Instructor at Jazz Connections Summer Workshop, taking place at Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ
*2002-present Williams College: Interim Jazz Ensemble Director
Courses Saxophone and Jazz Flute Instructor, Winter Study 2008 Course: Poetry and Music, Lectured for the 2007 art exhibit Making It New, Gerald and Sarah Murphy.
*2002-2007 The Putney School, Jazz Saxophone and Flute Instructor
*2005 Fall Semester Artist in Residence at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH with the Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble
*2002 Windham County High School – Jazz Combo director.
*2009 Eisner Summer Camp Artist in Residence – program “It’s in the Twilight” integrating music, dance, vocals, visual art for all age groups from 9-16years of age.

Close Window