Laurie Lang

About Laurie

Laurie Lang on Bass


“There are tons of great bass players in the genre of jazz and I love them all. I feel most a kin to the composer/bandleader bassists like Charlie Haden and Charles Mingus. Haden for his big, beautiful, deep foundational melodic sounds and his community building band projects and Mingus for his creativity and drive in establishing a groove and his amazing ability to compose for specific musicians and calling them to blend those unique voices in ensemble.”

Laurie Lang is a jazz bass violinist, composer, arranger, educator and producer. Her creative approach allows her sound to reach its musical depths, as her instrument becomes her voice. Laurie loves performing all kinds of jazz; from traditional New Orleans, to Basie big band, to hard bop, avant-garde/free jazz and also blending a variety of styles ideas while progressing the music forward.

Currently, Laurie enjoys taking on musical projects that build community.

As a bass violinist, she regularly rehearses and performs with John Becker & Sally de Broux; Jim Erickson & Jan Wheaton Groups, Joan Wildman , Becca May Grant & the Rivers of Madison and Stan Godfriaux.

As a jazz educator and clinician, she actively is implementing jazz residencies in area schools: Whitehorse Middle School Strings, Stevens Elementary, Sauk Trail Elementary, Middleton High School and Sun Prairie High School.

As a producer, she is assembling 2 collaborative pieces with local artists using projected visuals, film, dance and music speaking to human justice. Link to “Laurie’s projects” (a new wordpress blog)

Over the past two decades, Laurie has been involved in Madison’s creative music scene cultivating creativity through founding and directing the Improvisational Music Workshop, an experimental environment, bringing together jazz enthusiasts and jazz musicians at various levels to experience, to explore and to learn more about the art of ensemble music making and improvisation.

Administratively, she has also served on the board of the Madison Music Collective, a local organization that promotes modern jazz and improvisational music. The MMC has helped bring a variety of national jazz artists to the Madison area. Laurie acted as a liaison and an accompanying musician for various schools and community centers for educational outreach with Rhiannon, Mary Stallings, Tia Fuller, Laurence Hobgood, Carmen Lundy and Ingrid Jensen.

Earlier Musical Highlights:

1998 – 1984 Freelance musician performing mostly jazz, classical, folk and church music with various groups.

1998 Crossing Over Vocal Ensemble (a blending spoken word, vocal, drums and bass improvisations): leader and musician for a workshop at the Isthmus Jazz Festival and “Carols By Candlelight” a Jazz Vespers collection concert.

1998-6 Freelance Jazz Musician in Minneapolis/St. Paul performing with The Wolverines Big Band, Roberta Davis, Judi Donagy, Mary Louise Knutson, Debbie Duncan, Gwen Matthews, and The Willie August Project.

1998-6 Walker West Music Academy, St. Paul, MN: bass instructor and gospel piano teacher, school music clinician and founder of a violin program in the Twin Cities for intercity youth

1995 Alice Springs, NT, Australia – taught music lessons and performed with various bands with Graham Schrader and Peter Chapell, played at a dessert winery Chateau Hornsby

1995-90 “Laurie and Hooper” preschool music and movement business

1995-90 Brad Pregeant and the Highway 51 Jazz Band, Friday residency at the Crown Plaza - bassist

1994 Dianne Schuur, long-time Basie collaborator, on the “Love Songs” tour as the bassist in a trio performance

1990 “Speaking without Words” artist-in-the-schools residencies with visual artist, Bobbette Rose Conversations: Experiments with Visual and Musical Art

1990-87 Laurie was a founding member of Harmonious Wail

1990 - 84 UW-Madison school: BM in Bass Performance and Jazz Studies, studying the bass under the legendary bassist, Richard Davis, also studying jazz with Joan Wildman and Les Thimig, performing with the UW Symphony, UW Jazz Ensemble and the Black Music Ensemble.

1984 and before UW Stevens Point Symphony and jazz bands, Wausau Symphony, Wausau Symphony Jazz Band, Mary Louise Knutson, Lisa Schroeder Trio, Wausau West High School Orchestra, Band, Jazz Band and Choir.

I was born with music inside me. Music was one of my parts. Like my ribs, my kidneys, my liver, my heart. Like my blood. It was a force already within me when I arrived on the scene.

— Ray Charles