Lawson Rollins is an award-winning American guitarist and composer from North Carolina noted for his virtuoso fingerstyle technique and melodic compositional skills featured in his recordings. His music spans a wide range of genres but is generally classed as Latin Jazz and World Music, with elements of Samba, Bossa nova, Middle Eastern music, Classical guitar, Flamenco and Shred guitar added to the mix. He often employs extremely fast minor scales and diminished scale solo runs to his compositions which are diligently executed in the flamenco picado style, often blazing arpeggios across the fretboard using his fingers, a technically highly difficult feat for most guitarists.
He is best known for his compositions The Fire Cadenza, Santa Ana Wind, Flight, Daybreak, Infinita, and Moonlight Samba and his albums Infinite Chill (the remix sessions), Traveler, Infinita, Espirito, Elevation and Full Circle which were all critically acclaimed by the jazz and guitar communities. He has reached a wide audience on both radio and the internet. Video performances of Locomotion, The Fire Cadenza and Santa Ana Wind have been viewed millions of times on YouTube. His songs Flight, Daybreak, Moonlight Samba, and Infinita have proven popular on jazz radio stations and landed on the Billboard Top 30 contemporary jazz radio chart. His album Full Circle landed on the Billboard Top 10 World Music album sales chart and he was a Top 100 Artist of the Year on radio as ranked by RadioWave. The song Shifting Seasons from Full Circle won the USA Songwriting Competition first place award for instrumental song of the year and Lawson was also awarded 3rd place for Overall Artist of the year.
Influenced by Andrés Segovia from his mid-teens, he developed an interest in Jazz, Flamenco, and improvisational Latin and Brazilian guitar styles in his early twenties. After graduating from Duke University he earned a graduate degree from the London School of Economics, then moved to Washington, D.C. in 1998 where he met guitarist Daniel Young (Dan Young) at a local flamenco shop and formed the Latin guitar fusion group Young & Rollins. They released several albums together, including Salsa Flamenca, which landed on the Billboard Chart in 2000, Sevilla (2001), Esperanza (2005) and Mosaic (2006) and played at many major venues such as the Kennedy Center and Sydney Opera House. Rollins was based in Washington until 2007 when he moved to San Francisco.
His six solo albums Infinite Chill (the remix sessions), Traveler, Infinita, Espirito, Elevation, and Full Circle are characterized by an eclectic mix of Middle Eastern, Brazilian, and Arabic music fused with Spanish guitar and backed by an all-star cast of musicians from around the world including Brazilian singer Flora Purim, percussionist Airto Moreira, Cuban drummer Horacio Hernandez, Shahin Shahida of Shahin and Sepehr, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Iranian kamancheh player Kayhan Kalhor, Grammy-winning violinist Charlie Bisharat, and electric guitarist Buckethead, among others.
Lawson is a voting member of NARAS, a member of A2IM, and owner of the independent world music record label Infinita Records.
As solo artist:
Infinita Review at AMG (2008)
Espirito Review at AMG (2010)
Full Circle (2013)
Infinite Chill (the remix sessions) (2015)
As part of Young & Rollins
Salsa Flamenca (2000)
Sources: Last.fm, Wikipedia
Lawson Rollins in the news
|Songs by Lawson Rollins|