Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Lawrence, Doug, sax; b. Lake Charles, LA, 11 October 1956. Born in Louisiana into a family of musicians, Doug Lawrence, the last of six musical siblings, began playing classical music on the clarinet at the age of eight. Jazz master Buck Clayton said: "Doug is a great tenor man. He's what I call a natural, like Lester Young. I think that's because like Lester, Doug comes from a large family of musicians."
At the age of thirteen, Doug became captivated by the idea of playing jazz saxophone. Once day he picked up his father's sax, began playing, and never looked back. After briefly attending the renowned big band school North Texas State University on a scholarship he had won at a high school jazz competition, Doug began his first road work, joining various bands in Dallas TX, Albuquerque NM, and Las Vegas NV. In 1979, the Special Services Band at West Point had auditioned over two hundred tenor players for a year when they received a tape from Doug. They sent him a ticket and after a brief audition, offered him a position in their jazz band. Within a few months, Doug started the short commute from West Point to New York City and began to make a name for himself. By 1986, Doug's tenor saxophone services were in such demand that he moved to Manhattan. Since his arrival in New York City, Doug has consistently turned up in the finest bands and venues jazz has to offer. He has performed and recorded with such notables as George Benson, George Cables, Buck Clayton, "Wild Bill" Davis, Billy Eckstine, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Scott Hamilton, Lionel Hampton, Barry Harris, Jay McShann, The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, Sarah Vaughan, Frank Wess, and Nancy Wilson.
Doug has appeared throughout the USA, Japan and Europe at virtually every major jazz festival, club and concert hall in the world. His 1997 bookings include national and international tours with The World Famous Count Basie Orchestra, The Doug Lawrence Band, and numerous bookings as a freelance artist. Among the 1997 releases Doug appears on are: The DMP Big Band Plays Ellington on DMP records, Buck Clayton's Swing Band Live at The Village Vanguard on Nagelhayer records, and the critically acclaimed Soul Carnival on Fable Records featuring The Doug Lawrence Quintet.