February 7 – February 8
Jazz St. Louis
3536 Washington Ave
St. Louis, MO 63103 United States
St. Louis native Lawrence Fields has solidified his standing as a prominent figure among emerging jazz pianists by skillfully merging traditional principles with a modern approach. His notable recognition in the keyboardist category of Downbeat Magazine’s Rising Stars critics poll underscores the profound impact he is creating. Fields plays a crucial role in various bands, many of which are led or co-led by his avid supporter, Joe Lovano, including the Classic Quartet, the Sax Supreme Quartet, and the Sound Print Quintet. These ensembles showcase Fields’ unique blend of composition and performance.
Despite growing up without a consistent music teacher and being unaware of jazz camps and specialized schools, Fields realized that musical expertise requires persistent effort and is not something that happens overnight. He was raised in a household where both parents possessed some musical talent, but neither of them pursued it professionally. His father taught him the blues scale, and his mother provided a year’s worth of introductory piano lessons. Fields was initially encouraged to pursue more conventional career paths, so he never considered the potential of music leading to a profession. However, after dedicated practice and collaboration with local musicians in St. Louis, he set his sights on a scholarship to Berklee College of Music. The decision to leave his job in software marked a transformative turning point in his career.
Fields has shared the stage with renowned artists like Nicholas Payton, Jeff Watts, Branford Marsalis, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Now, he stands as a living testament to the transformative force of following one’s musical passion. His debut album, To the Surface, featuring his trio and solo performances, is set to be released on February 2, 2024.
❝ Getting better means reconciling the joy of momentary success with emotional swings that come from wondering whether the next step is impossible. Coming out on the other side of this — and learning to do it consistently — is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. When you push through a ceiling, and realize that you were capable all along, it’s like experiencing a burst of electricity. Great artists fight hard for this! ❞
— Lawrence Fields