Jay Lawrence operates LIJA Music Inc., and co-owns the Jazz Hang record label with colleague Ray Smith, and is the drummer for the Salt Lake City Jazz Orchestra. Lawrence graduated Summa Cum Laude from Utah Valley University with a Bachelor of Science degree. He has been an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University (1996 to present), University of Utah (1988 – 2013), and Snow College (1998 – 2020), Interim Director of Jazz at Utah Valley University, and has taught at other Universities.

Jay’s vast professional experience began when he joined The Musicians Union (A. F. of M.) at the age of fifteen. As a member of Reno, Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas, Nevada hotel/casino show bands, Jay has performed in concert with many celebrities, including The 5th Dimension, Paul Anka, Vikki Carr, Cher, Roy Clark, The Coasters, Natalie Cole, Vic Damone, Sammy Davis Jr., The Drifters, Barbara Eden, Michael Feinstein, Andy Gibb, Englebert Humperdink, Jack Jones, Tom Jones, Ben E. King, Gladys Knight, Rich Little, Loretta Lynn, Ann Margret, Maureen McGovern, Shirley MacLaine, Liza Minelli, The Moody Blues, Anthony Newley, Lou Rawls, Della Reese, Debbie Reynolds, Charlie Rich, Linda Ronstadt, Neil Sedaka, Frank Jr. and Nancy Sinatra, Red Skelton, The Smothers Brothers, Bobby Vinton, Dionne Warwick, Mary Wilson, and others.

Jay has recorded film scores and/or trailers for the following motion pictures: The Sandlot, Double Impact, Flubber, Gettysburg, Hercules, Home Alone 3, Indian in the Cupboard, Jumanji, Mighty Ducks 2, Mi Familia, Nightmare on Elm Street- Part VII, Starship Troopers, Surviving Picasso, The Swan Princess, The Three Ninjas Kick Back, U-571, and Saturday’s Warrior. His T.V. credits include ESPN, NBC’s Crossroads, The Merv Griffin Show from Caesars Palace, Orange Bowl Halftime show, HBO taping of Moulin Rouge, Mrs. America Pageant, a CMT video- Chris Ladoux’s Riding for A Fall and Xena- Warrior Princess.

Lawrence has also performed with many jazz artists, including: Shelly Berg, Jimmy Bruno, Brian Bromberg, Kenny Burrell, Cyrus Chestnut, Pete Christlieb, Dee Daniels, Eddie Daniels, Brandon Fields, Carl Fontana, Al Grey, Benny Green, Don Grolnick, Roy Hargrove, Milt Jackson, Hank Jones, Carol Kaye, Mark Levine, James Moody, Andy Narell, New York Voices, Nicholas Payton, Arturo Sandoval, and Phil Woods. Jay has toured throughout the U.S.A., Canada, Europe, the South Pacific and the Caribbean with luminaries such as Chris LeDoux, James Moody, Liberace, Enoch Train, and The Osmonds.

Many award-winning albums have been recorded by Jay, including those with Bob Mintzer, Andy Martin, Joey DeFrancesco, Mike Stern, Eddie Daniels, Wycliffe Gordon, Chuck Findley, Ellis Hall, Rodney Jones, Ron Blake, Rodney Whitaker and others. The Jay Lawrence Trio’s “Thermal Strut” on OA2 Records featured Tamir Hendelman and Lynn Seaton and received critical acclaim in Percussive Notes, Jazz Times, and other magazines. Jay’s 2012 recording, “Sweet Lime”, released on Jazz Hang Records, reached number 7 on the Jazz Week Radio Airplay charts. It features Bob Sheppard and John Clayton. Jay’s CD, “Sonic Paragon”, recorded in New York, featuring John Patitucci was awarded “Recording of the Month” by WBGO (August 2018) Lawrence also soloed on Kaskade’s Grammy Nominated album “Atmosphere”. Moreover Lawrence can be heard as a soloist on “The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Friends”.

Jay has produced pedagogical materials, including A Compendium of Jazz Improvisation (text book and play-along CD), Rhythm Reading– A Practice Manual, (LIJA Music), and The Drummers Workbook (Think Fast Communications.)

Short Bio

Lawrence graduated from Utah Valley University with a Bachelor of Science degree/Summa Cum Laude. He has been a member of faculties at Brigham Young University, University of Utah, Snow College, and other Universities.

Jay performed with celebrities including: Cher, Natalie Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Andy and Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees, Tom Jones, Gladys Knight, Linda Ronstadt, and Nancy Sinatra.

Lawrence has concertized with jazz artists, including: Cyrus Chestnut, John Patitucci, Roy Hargrove, Milt Jackson, Carol Kaye, Clark Terry, and Phil Woods.

Jay’s recording, Sweet Lime reached number 7 on the Jazz Week charts. His recent album, Sonic Paragon, was named CD of the month by New York’s WBGO. Lawrence soloed on Kaskade’s twice Grammy Nominated album Atmosphere. Jay has also recorded over 130 Broadway soundtracks for theatres worldwide.

He has toured with luminaries such as Chris LeDoux, Liberace,The Osmonds, and James Moody.

Lawrence has recorded many film scores such as: The Sandlot, Gettysburg, Three Ninjas Kick Back, and U-571.