Born: October 11, 1956 Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
Doug is the lead tenor saxophonist and featured soloist with the Count Basie Orchestra, tenor saxophonist with the Coast to Coast All-Star Septet featuring Jimmy Cobb, and a freelance artist.... The New York Times quoted jazz legend Buck Clayton saying - “Doug Lawrence is a great tenor saxophonist, a natural, like Lester Young”. Howard Mandel of Downbeat says - “The professional credentials Doug Lawrence has racked up, are astonishing!”, Bill Milkowski of Jazz Times writes - “Think of Coleman Hawkins, Louis Armstrong, Ben Webster, Lester Young, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra. They were able to touch our collective soul with their extraordinary sense of phrasing. Tenor man Doug Lawrence has got it. His phrasing is fluid, relaxed, conversational and charming, just like his easy going, seductive Southern drawl.” And Dan Morgenstern, former editor of Downbeat writes - “There's nothing forced about Dougs playing: It is, as they say, the real thing.”
Born October 11th, 1956 in Lake Charles, Louisiana, saxophonist Doug Lawrence spent over 25 years as a working musician based in New York City. Among the artists he has performed and recorded with include - Benny Goodman, Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Sarah Vaughan, Rosemary Clooney, Jimmy Cobb, Frank Wess, Buck Clayton, Billy Eckstine, Dakota Staton, Wild Bill Davis, Benny Carter, Bobby Short, Eddie Durham, Diane Schuur, Patti Austin, The Smithsonian Masterworks Orchestra, Dennis Mackrel's Manhattan Symphony Jazz Orchestra, George Bensen, Lizz Wright, Nneenna Freelon, Ledisi and many others.
Doug has performed on six continents at virtually every major concert hall, jazz club and jazz festival in the world, including - Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Royal Albert Hall, The Blue Notes in Japan, Italy and New York, The Village Vangaurd, Blues Alley, Birdland, The North Sea Jazz Festival, Umbria Jazz Festival, Newport, Chicago, Montreal, New Orleans, New York, Los Angeles and Nice Jazz Festivals, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and many more. Doug has also performed for 5 American Presidents as well as the Queen of England and the Royal Families of Monaco, Sweden and Spain.
As a featured soloist with the 17-time Grammy-winning World Famous Count Basie Orchestra, Doug has toured the world extensively. The Basie band has no parallel in jazz. They have won more awards, polls and Grammys than any other jazz band in history. The chair Doug fills (lead tenor) has been inhabited by a virtual “who's who” of jazz tenor saxophonists. They include - Lester Young, Hershel Evans, Don Byas, Eli “Lucky” Thompson, Bud Johnson, Buddy Tate, Illinois Jacquet, Wardell Gray, Paul Quinechette, Frank Wess, Frank Foster, Billy Mitchell, Sal Nistico, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Jimmy Forrest and Kenny Hing.
Doug has appeared on over 100 recordings including four critically acclaimed recordings of his own - “Soul Carnival” (#3 USA 2/98, Top 10 for 14 weeks, Gavin Jazz Radio Report), “High Heel Sneakers” (#11 USA 2/99, Top 20 for 10 weeks, Gavin Jazz Radio Report), the extraordinarily popular “Big Band Swing” and “Street Wise” on the Alltribe label. New recordings for 2010/2011 will include Doug performing on numerous CD's with a variety of artists including Frank Wess, Hank Jones, Curtis Fuller, Nneena Freelon, The Count Basie Orchestra, Clyde Stubblefield, Jamie Cullum and Tony Bennett.
In 2009 Doug appeared in the Atlanta, Georgia opening of the Broadway Show “Come Fly Away” as the featured tenor saxophone soloist. This show, based on the music of Frank Sinatra and the choreography of Twyla Tharp, featured an all- star big band performing on stage. In 2010 the show debuted at the Marquis Theatre on Broadway in New York City, with Doug making special appearances as his schedule permitted.