Stan Lassiter

Stan Lassiter

BandJazzClassic Rock

Virtuoso guitarist as seen on


“It’s a path…there’s no beginning and no end. No master of the path versus not master of the path.”

To truly begin to understand the music of Stan Lassiter, you first must become acquainted with Stan—both his history and his philosophy of music.

At age 13, Stan taught himself how to play the guitar, and played constantly throughout his high school years. The Spiders Combo was his first band at the age of 13. He played sock hops and earned his first three dollars with this band. At the age of 15, Stan played with the Electric Army Band later known as The Whole Damn Family. The Whole Damn Family was one of Nashville’s most popular bands. When Stan was 17, he jammed with the Allman Brother’s at George Jones’ Possum Holler Club. Stan joined Kosie Gardner’s Jazz Trio at 19. Kosie is a Master Hammond B3 player in the tradition of Jimmy Smith. They played with Sonny Stitt in Memphis in 1977. Stan also worked two country shows, and the Showboat from 1973 to 1980 at Opryland USA. Stan was the orchestra leader of two of the country shows. In 1976, Stan won the Best Instrumentalist Award at Opryland USA. In 1978, Stan traveled with the Opryland cast to Amsterdam as Goodwill ambassadors. In 1977, Stan earned a Master’s Degree in the Science of Pedagogy and Classical Guitar from the George Peabody College for teachers at Vanderbilt University. He played in the Peabody Jazz Ensemble during this time. This is when Stan and Joe Rea Phillips met. Joe Rea Phillips is the Senior Artist Teacher of Guitar and Assistant to the Dean at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music. Stan and Joe Rea have been guitar partners since that time. They continue to collaborate on guitar techniques and compositions to this day. In fact they just completed a new CD. Stan taught guitar at Belmont University and Cumberland University from 1976 through 1979. In 1977, Costo Davis and Stan experimented in fusion in a popular Nashville band which included Costo on the key board, Mark Tallent on the bass, and Randy Bowles on the drums. This was the first incarnation of the Stan Lassiter Group. Stan later teamed up with Roy Vogt (bass) and Dale Armstrong (drums) to play Stan’s fusion music in the second version of the Stan Lassiter Group. They recorded Pink, Blue, and Red which is currently released on Roy, Dale, and Stan also recorded Psychic Sweat from Castle Productions in Franklin, Tennessee. In 1993, Stan recorded The Rose and the Nightingale at the Castle. This is a solo guitar work. Stan started his Little Zenphony Project in 1999. It explores the orchestration of guitars with Stan’s music. Stan has come full circle and is always expanding. Currently you can see Stan in Nashville and the surrounding areas playing with his groups "Jazd" featuring Kyle Jones master drummer and "He's History" and is always working on the next evolution of his music which brings the talent and styles of its predecessors into the new versions. Stan currently holds an adjunct facility position at Fisk and Belmont Universities. Seminars are also available.

“My philosophy is to pick up every system—chimes, taps, pentatonic, and everything else and just revamp them. Put the mathematical permutations back in so I can have all ways of playing them that doesn’t sound like the same patterns people get tired of—they really don’t get tired of the language. I think freedom is revamping what we already have, re-using our resources again.”

“You really have to break down the system and say, “I’m not going to play blues, country, rock, metal, jazz, or classical,” and at that point, what exists? Well, its movement. If you move this point and you do it with flow, its change. That change is the key. At that point, you take responsibility for it, if its good or bad. I think that the great artists of the past –Mozart, Beethoven, Bach—all the greats like John Coltrane and Miles Davis. They’re all connected to that, and that’s what I listen to. That’s the players I get my inspiration from because they’re there. You don’t have to copy their language you just feel their energy. Artist reflect the times they live in.”

“Improvisation is what you are seeking when go out to explore something new. You take the melody and you go for it , and that’s the only thing that exists. The only thing at that moment. You break through the garbage. Like a stream, there’s always soot on top of the stream, and that’s basically our life duties. So you have to screen through that and clear that away to get down the deep waters of yourself. Its like constantly getting that marsh away—bills, troubles, emotions, people saying this…people saying that.”

”So you just get that stuff out of the way and you dig down and really the only power you have is observation. It’s awareness going toward that observation that’s the important part.”

“Practice it. You do it enough and you can recall it, because you experience something


Pyschic Sweat, The Stan Lassiter Grupe
Pink, Blue and Red, The Stan Lassiter Grupe
The Rose and the Nightingale, Stan Lassiter
Flight Dreams, Joe Rea Phillips and Stan Lassiter
Little Zenphonies for Guitorchestra, Stan Lassiter

Set List

45 minutes to 1 hour, orginal and arrangements.