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Jay Lawrence

Adjunct Faculty
Commercial Music Division


Lawrence graduated from Utah Valley University with a Bachelor of Science degree - Summa Cum Laude. He has been a member of the adjunct faculties at Brigham Young University (1996 to present), University of Utah (1988 to 2012), Snow College (1998 to 2020), and other Universities.

His vast professional experience began when Lawrence, at the age of fifteen, began performing in Reno, Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas, Nevada hotel/casino show bands Jay performed with many celebrities, including: The 5th Dimension, Paul Anka, Vikki Carr, Cher, Roy Clark, The Coasters, Natalie Cole, Vic Damone, Sammy Davis Jr., Barbara Eden, Michael Feinstein, Andy and Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees, Englebert Humperdink, Tom Jones, Ben E. King, Gladys Knight, Rich Little, Loretta Lynn, Ann Margret, Maureen McGovern, Shirley MacLaine, Liza Minnelli, The Moody Blues, Anthony Newley, Lou Rawls, Charlie Rich, Linda Ronstadt, Frank Jr. and Nancy Sinatra, Red Skelton, Dionne Warwick, Raquel Welch, Mary Wilson, and many others. Former President of the Salt Lake Jazz Society, Lawrence has also performed with many jazz artists, including:Kenny Burrell, Cyrus Chestnut, Pete Christlieb, Eddie Daniels, Carl Fontana, Al Grey, Don Grolnick, Roy Hargrove, Milt Jackson, Hank Jones, Carol Kaye, Mark Levine, Darmon Meader, James Moody, Andy Narell, New York Voices, Nicholas Payton, John Pizzarelli, Tom Scott, Bobby Shew, Tierney Sutton, Clark Terry, Stanley Turrentine, and Phil Woods. Many award-winning recordings have been recorded by Jay, including albums with Bob Mintzer, Andy Martin, Joey DeFrancesco, Mike Stern, Eddie Daniels, Wycliffe Gordon, Chuck Findley, Natalie Cole, Rodney Jones, Ron Blake, Rodney Whitaker and John Patitucci.

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. His most recent album, Sonic Paragon, was named CD of the month by New York's WBGO. Lawrence also soloed on Kaskade’s twice Grammy Nominated album Atmosphere. He 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.

Lawrence has recorded many film scores and trailers including for: The Sandlot, 101 Dalmatians, Double Impact, Gettysburg, Home Alone 3, Jumanji, Mighty Ducks 2, Nightmare on Elm Street- Part VII, Stargate, Starship Troopers, Surviving Picasso, The Swan Princess, The Three Ninjas Kick Back, U-571, and Saturday's Warrior. Jay has produced many pedagogical materials, including A Compendium of Jazz Improvisation (text book and play-along CD), Rhythm Reading A Practice Manual, (LIJA Music), and the popular Drummer's Workbook (Think Fast Communications.) As a composer, Lawrence won first prize in a world-wide Hymn writing contest in 2012, and was the first composer to receive 3 commissions from the Utah Arts Festival.

Courses Taught


Stephen David Lindeman Charles Raymond Smith Ronald M Saltmarsh Jay Utah Lawrence H Eric Hansen Ronald Paul Brough Stephen David Lindeman Charles Raymond Smith Ronald Paul Brough H Eric Hansen Ronald M Saltmarsh Jay Utah Lawrence Charles Raymond Smith Ronald Paul Brough Stephen David Lindeman Jay Utah Lawrence Matt Larson