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Crofton, Maryland, United States | SELF

Crofton, Maryland, United States | SELF
Solo Jazz Adult Contemporary


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"LaGrand Enterprises"

13 Jan 2011

LaGrand Enterprises
Christian Businesses, Independent Gospel Artists

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Joel LaGrand Frazier was heavily influenced by music, and at the tender age of 8, LaGrand set out to make it happen. Today he is the CEO of LaGrand Enterprises, which includes a record label, a recording studio, and a music, concert and live production company .

LaGrand (aka “ProducingMind”) is a professional producer, songwriter, recording engineer, sound reinforcement engineer and industry consultant. He is a known, experienced, respected and accomplished professional within both the music and sound industries.

With many credits to his name, LaGrand has produced, written, engineered and/or performed with a broad range of artists, companies, celebrities and dignitaries including, but not limited to, The GRAMMYs, BET Network, NBC, AOL, eBay, Bobby Jones Gospel Hour, Video Gospel, Comic View Series, Presidents Reagan, Bush Sr. and Jr., Clinton, Obama, Colon Powell, Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Newt Gingrich, numerous governors, senators and members of Congress; Yolanda Adams, Donnie McClurkin, Byron Cage, Dr. Bobby Jones, KirkFranklin, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, Urban Deciple, Harlem Choir Boys, Judge Hatchett, Jimmie Jam, and many more.


? Co-writer, producer and/or engineer for title and cue music for several cable shows 1999 – 2010

? Served as featured personality in article publications and radio interviews.

? Established sound relationships with many national, local and independent artists, musicians and industry personnel.

? Music used and heard both nationally and internationally on cable television for the past 11 years

? Engineered and mixed for the 2006 & 2007 Gospel Heritage Awards’ New Artist Winners: Michael McCoy & Voices United 06’ & Michael White & True Praise 07’. Michael McCoy & Voices United are 2010 Stellar Award Nominees.

? Launched “Creative Moments Series” in 2010. Creative Moments Vol 2. has been in the top 100 for 8 consecutive months on internet radio, charting as high as #8.

LaGrand credits all his accomplishments to his faith in God. He believes that with God all things truly are possible! -

"Making a Name for Himself: LaGrand Frazier"

Full Sail Real World Education

Making a Name for Himself: LaGrand Frazier
Professionalism and work ethic has taken this grad a long way.

Full Sail grad LaGrand Frazier (left) with recording artist/producer Jimmy Jam.

Sit-down with LaGrand Frazier and he’ll give you the impression he has all day to talk. But behind this laid-back persona, is a man whose daily workload is anything but casual—lending his skills to the GRAMMY’s, BET Network, Britney Spears, Aretha Franklin, Kelly Clarkson, and four United States Presidents.

LaGrand Enterprises and TruReign Recording Studio records live sound and sound engineers for major corporations like NBC, AOL, Nextel and more. “I’ve done sound for every president since the first George Bush, first ladies, and countless governors and senators. I’ve done sound for artists like Charlie Daniels and Ricky Skaggs,” LaGrand says.

And it's his dependability and professionalism that has opened doors with a variety of venues. “When the companies saw what I brought to the table, I was one of the first ones they would call,” he explains. After ending up with the same clients year after year, LaGrand has asked them, “How does this happen that I’m on this show again? You must be requesting me." And the clients will tell him "'Oh yeah. We request you every time,'" LaGrand says.

The good word on the street has LaGrand’s services in high demand. “My record has been, that I’ve not had one bad show. I’ve never had a show crash on me and don’t plan on it.” LaGrand often uses that reputation as a selling point, telling clients, “You’re paying for my expertise. You’re paying for the end results. And you get what you pay for.”

LaGrand splits time between running outside events and working in his studio, most recently working on a project for an artist in the Washington, D.C. area. “We’re in final mixing stage.” But, with twenty-four live vocal mics at the recording, and nine more studio vocal overdubs added, LaGrand had his work cut out for him, editing all of the vocals. “For a lot of them I had to correct pitches note-by-note. Each song took two days of editing just for the vocals.”

That kind of grueling in-studio work is exactly why LaGrand likes to break out of the studio and hit the road for something fun from time to time. Like the refresher he got running audio for Chuck Colson’s Prison Fellowship tour from 1998 to 2002. LaGrand actually traveled to penitentiaries all around the country with professional comedians and musicians. “We’re in a state like Florida with ten teams of artists, performers, or athletes and a sound crew. I didn’t charge as much as I usually do. It was my way of giving back. A lot of times these guys have one chance to say, 'Yes, I wanna go see this show.'”

LaGrand wouldn’t be in the world he is now without his brawny work ethic. After first graduating from Full Sail in 1992, he hit the streets of D.C., working in audio for several major hotels in the area. “Within a year I’d been promoted at a large J.W. Marriott hotel in D.C., where I then started the AV [Audio Visual] department at a new neighboring Marriott property called Marriott @ Metro Center,” he explains. Soon after his promotion, Marriot’s new AV department succeeded 80% above what they projected, and “I figured if I could make the kind of money I made for Marriott, I could make that kind for me.”

It was that kind of thinking that prompted LaGrand to walk away from Marriott in 1995 to start his own businesses. And now with the credits and reputation LaGrand has built, he and his partner P.J. Morgan are ready to approach investors and expand the company. “My business plan is 90% completed,” he says. “Basically, I’ve been putting together a big base of projects that we’ve done. A lot of the artists we’ve worked, they’ve gotten signed to major deals to major labels. What my partner and I are trying to do is build a whole slew of these projects that took off and went national. Then we can go to the $3 million man and say, ‘Look, we’ll pull all these credits for these projects we did. [We’ll] show you how successful we are. Give us some money so we can go make some money together.’”

And while LaGrand and his partner wait for that ‘$3 million man’ to show up, they are pleased “at the cusp of getting at the place of breaking out,” and confident “it’s gonna happen soon. I know bigger and better things are coming,” he adds.
- Full Sail Real World Education

"Take Five With LaGrand"

Meet LaGrand:
LaGrand has been involved in either playing music or music production since he was six years old. He has a degree in Recording Engineering, and has been engineering and producing professionally since 1992.

Having built a solid reputation of professionalism, knowledge, integrity, calmness and more, LaGrand has had many opportunities to work with many national and international dignitaries, companies and artists. His drive towards excellence in all he does is unsurpassed. Listen to LaGrand work and you will hear the difference.

Vocals, keys, drums, programming, engineering.

Teachers and/or influences?
The Hawkins, Andre Crouch, The Clark Sisters, Earth, Wind and Fire, The Whispers, The Gap Band, Frankie Beverley and Maze, Stevie Wonder, The Commodores, Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, Prince, Luther Vandross, Duran Duran, Anita Baker, Run DMC, Madonna, New Edition, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Janet Jackson, Roger Troutman, Phil Collins, George Benson, Quincy Jones, George Duke and PJ Morgan.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I was six years old, playing on the back of tambourines in church every Sunday. I also truly knew, ever since I was eight, that I would be doing what I am doing. Many people thought I was stubborn along the way, but I've always had a plan. If someone's advise was contrary to my vision for my life then I just said "Thank you" and kept it moving.

Your sound and approach to music:
My sound is a sophisticated jazz infused sound with gospel, R&B, and drum 'n' bass influences. My approach to music is to actually create what I am given. My approach to producing is to get to know the artist thoroughly, emphasize their strengths while minimizing their weaknesses. I still pull on the weaknesses just enough to force the artist to improve in those areas, but not too much to create anxiety.

I truly believe that, as a producer, it is my job to show case the artist and not the producer. Do this and you will keep a fresh sound because everyone is different in their own way.

Your teaching approach:
My teaching philosophy is that all you learn during the course of life or your studies is there for you to express who you are as a person. Respect what you learn and those who have taught you, but don't let it enslave you. Make it you!! Be original.

Your dream band:
Artist I would love to work with include some of my influences like the Winans, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Michael Jackson (no longer to be), George Duke, Kim Burrell, Stevie Wonder and Rance Allen, to name a few.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:
When I graduated from Full Sail with my engineering degree in '92 I was offered a position to work for Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Even though I loved their work and had respect for them, I turned down the position and my school thought I was crazy. I was told that out of the four that were submitted I would most likely be the one chosen. I replied,"Thanks. You can submit my name, but I am not feeling lead in that direction."

Fast forward to Sept 6, 2006. I was hired to do the house sound for The Grammys, with Jimmy Jam, Kelly Clarkson, many other artists, and a room full of senators including Barack Obama. I was tickled how things came around full circle that day on Capitol Hill. Normally, when I am on a show, I remain totally professional and never ask for a photo, but I did on that day for personal reasons. Of course, I didn't mention that I had turned him down 14 years prior.

I have only done that one other time, and that was when I was doing front-of-house for Aretha Franklin, Mary J Blige, Britney Spears and New Charlotte. At the end of the show I walked by all of the artists and said, "Ms. Franklin, I was your engineer for the day. Would you mind giving me your autograph, ma'am?" She hugged my neck, said "Thanks," signed a picture for me, and gave me her unreleased CD that was about to drop.

Two very special moments in my career where I had to go against my own rules and personalize the moment.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
My favorite recording in my discography would have to be on my project entitled My Best Friend. Even though this isn't my favorite of all the work I've done, my favorite isn't yet listed in my discography because it hasn't been released by the artist I produced. My Best Friend is my best because it showcases my creativity in writing and mixing. I am generally requested a lot for my vocal editing and the tight smooth sound I create with them. This song show cases the quality and level of singers I have access to and require. It was also a Top 5 Finalist in the Singer Universe's Best Vocalist Of The Month, for June 2010. The lead singer is James Lanier. He and Steve White perform the background vocals as well.

The first Jazz album I bought was:
A Jeff Lorber album, but I cannot remember which one it was.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
That would be a uncompromising standard of Excellence, along with my willingness to teach those I encounter.

Did you know...
I lost an opportunity at an investor for $18 Million back in 1992?

CDs you are listening to now:
Kenny DeShields, You Changed Me (Unreleased);
Coko, The Winner In Me (Light Records);
Doobie Powell, The Time Is Now (Chip Off The Block).

Desert Island picks:
Dawkins & Dawkins—Focus St. Germaine—Tourist LaGrand—Creative Moments Vol. 2—LaGrand Records

How would you describe the state of jazz today?
I believe the state of jazz is suffering in a couple of ways. One is that the marketing and advertisement budgets are all but nonexistent, leaving us with thousands of great projects no one knows about. Since no one knows that they even exist or was just released, no demand is generated in stores or on radio.

We are losing so many jazz stations across this country for the same reason. We must demand more to get more. Educate ourselves and step up our marketing game to that of other genres.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
More emphasiz on marketing and advertising, more sales, greater demand for the genre and a willingness to infuse with technology as both an artist and genre.

What is in the near future?
I am working on a couple of potential production contracts, will be overseeing a live New Year's concert, and releasing another artist's project at the beginning of 2011. I am also editing the vocals and mixing for an artist's project from California as we speak. I am about to pick up the ball on my next project, Creative Moments Vol. 1. This will be a vocal project..

By Day:
I am the owner of LaGrand Enterprises, TruReign Recording Studio and LaGrand Records. I have been self-employed since 1996. The services I offer range from sound reinforcement and recording engineering to music production, sound maintenance and consultation, to name just a few.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
actually I would have been a doctor.

Photo Credit
Courtesy of LaGrand
- All About Jazz


Creative Moments Vol. 2 (CMV2) released 2010

July (CMV2)- airplay on Television, internet radio, etc

My Best Friend (CMV2) - Internet Radio

Creative Wonder (CMV2) - Internet Radio

Co-wrote 2 BET Projects - Theme Music for "Bobby Jones Gospel" for almost ten years.

Theme Music for BET's "Gospel Video" for almost ten years.

Bed music for BET shows like Comicview Series, Teen Summit, Journey With Jazz At Lincoln Theatre, BET On Jazz, BET College Football, BET Impressions, J&R Artist Of The Month, How I'm Living, Way We Do It, Bermuda Jazz Festival Preview, J&R Jazz Series, Heart & Soul, Oh Drama & NYLA



LaGrand is a award winning producer, songwriter, recording and sound reinforcement engineer with many credits to his name. He has produced, written, engineered and/or performed with the artists, companies, celebrities and dignitaries listed below.

Companies & Television:

The GRAMMYs (The Recording Academy), BET Network, NBC, AOL, Ebay, Under Armour, National Fatherhood Institute (NFI), Fidelity, Bank Of America, Bobby Jones Gospel Hour, Video Gospel, Comicview Series, Teen Summit, Journey With Jazz At Lincoln Theatre, BET On Jazz, BET College Football, BET Impressions, J&R Artist Of The Month, How I'm Living, Way We Do It, Bermuda Jazz Festival Preview, J&R Jazz Series, Heart & Soul, Oh Drama, NYLA, Nextel, The Preakness, NFL, James Brown Excellence Awards, Heintz Awards, BET Awards Special, Billy Graham Crusades and Prison Fellowship.


Presidents: Reagan, Bush, Sr., Clinton, Bush, Jr., Obama, presiding First Ladies, Colon Powell, Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, Barack Obama, numerous Presidential Candidates, Governors, Senators and Members Of Congress.

Artists & Celebrities:

Yolanda Adams, Donnie McClurkin, Donald Vails, Byron Cage, Dr. Bobby Jones, Jimmie Jam, Kelly Clarkson, LaShun Pace, Keith Pringle, Charlie Daniels, Freedom, Whitley Phipps, Aretha Franklin, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, New Charlotte, Goo-Goo Dolls, Sherman Andrus, Chuck Colson, Myrna Summers, Urban Disciple, PJ Morgan, Harlem Choir Boys, Justin Todd Herod, Bobby Roman, Jeff Silvey, Lil "G" of Silk, Pete Orta of Petra, Maria Bergman, Regina McCrary, Darlene Simmons, Harvest Life Changers, Rick Cua, Tonya Blount, Michael White, Mike McCoy, King Solomon, Dave Dyson, Tyrone Powell, Larry Howard, Ricky Scaggs, Aben Eubanks, Jimmy Messer, Detrick Edwards, Michael Wolfe, Kirk Franklin, DC Talk, Jennifer Lewis, The Katinas, Regis Philbon, Judge Hatchett, Emmitt Smith (Dallas Cowboys), Mark Brunell (Redskins), Allan Houston (NY Knicks), Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (Host of "Shalom In The Home"), Dr. Maya Angelou and POSSIBLY YOU.

Band Members