About John

John Sitting With GuitarJohn E. Lawrence, a life long resident of Ypsilanti is one of Michigan’s most talented and respected guitarists. John is now gaining national recognition with the recent contract with Mel Bay Publications, Inc., one of the country’s largest publishers of instructional materials. Mel Bay has produced for John a video tape entitled "Jazz Improvisation, Walking Bass Lines, and Chord Melodies." Released in the summer of 2001 are three companion instructional books with compact discs (CD’s) which include "Improvising Solos for Guitar, "Walking Bass Solos and Chord Melody Solos. The books and CD’s can be used alone or in conjunction with the videotape. John’s most recent accomplishments include contracts to endorse Heritage Guitars, Takamine Guitars and La Bella Guitar Strings. He is also featured in Mel Bay’s "Collectors Edition Anthology of Jazz Guitar Solos" This collection features solos by some of the world’s finest jazz guitarist. John has also written two articles in Mel Bay’s Internet magazine, one entitled" Practice is the key to musical success" and another entitled "Blues Improvisation" for March and April 2000 issues.

Mr. Lawrence credits his musical talents first and foremost to God, then to the late Dr. Morris Lawrence (no relation). Dr. Lawrence was an instructor and chair of the Music Department at Washtenaw Community College (WCC). Under the tutelage of Dr. Lawrence, John was challenged and inspired to continuously improve his skills as a guitarist. Following in the footsteps of his mentor, John became an instructor at WCC where he has taught for 27 years.

In the realm of performance, Mr. Lawrence served as musical director and lead guitarist for vocalist Carl Carlton, who was the opening act for such famed artists as Smokey Robinson, Chaka Khan, Lionel Richie and the Commodores, Rick James, Teena Marie and Frankie Beverly and Maze.

Among Mr. Lawrence’s many accomplishments is a performance at Carnegie Hall. In addition to touring throughout the United States and performing at Jazz Festivals such as: Boston Globe, New Orleans, and Montreaux Detroit, he has performed in Haiti, Surinam, Germany, and the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

John has made television appearances on three nationally syndicated programs: Kelly & Company, PM Magazine and Good Morning America. He has also performed with Atlantic Records recording artists, Straight Ahead, a Detroit-based female jazz group.

One of Mr. Lawrence’s most memorable occasions was with legendary jazz guitarist, Mr. Kenny Burrell. Mr. Burrell asked John to sit in with him at the famed Baker’s Keyboard Lounge in Detroit, Michigan. After the performance, Kenny commended John on his playing ability.

His sound recordings include, "Merry Christmas from John E. Lawrence," "The Supreme Dream" and a third recording entitled "Old Smooth". A (CD) that is compiled of hits from the 60’s 70’s and 80’s. His fourth project entitled "Summer Nights" A (CD) compiled of original material that fits the adult contemporary jazz format, was released in the summer of 2000. A fifth (CD)"Winter Wonder Land" is his second Christmas (CD) released December 2001 and his sixth (CD) "All By Myself" a solo guitar project released January 2002. These accomplishments have laid the foundation for an explosive career in today’s music industry. John E. Lawrence is sure to become a household name. For more information, please contact his web-site at http://www.johnelawrence.com or e-mail him at jel@johnelawrence.com

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