The Lao Tizer Band
Gig Seeker Pro

The Lao Tizer Band

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE | AFM

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Jazz World

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Feb
18
The Lao Tizer Band @ Boston Court Performing Arts Center

Pasaneda, California, United States

Pasaneda, California, United States

Feb
11
The Lao Tizer Band @ The Gardens on El Paseo

Palm Desert, California, United States

Palm Desert, California, United States

Feb
11
The Lao Tizer Band @ Private Show

Palm Desert

Palm Desert

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


"Clifford Brown Jazz Festival"

Tizer, led by keyboardist and recording artist Lao Tizer, a Best New Artist nominee, captivates audiences of all ages with their eclectic blend of jam based contemporary music. They have shared the stage with such renowned artists as Wayne Shorter, George Benson, The Commodores and more, and will take the stage at the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival at 6:45 p.m. Friday, June 24, at Rodney Square in Wilmington.

In 2008, Lao assembled an all-star concert tour: TIZER featuring Chieli Minucci and international violin virtuoso Karen Briggs (Yanni, Soul II Soul). In 2009 and 2010, the group went International, performing at Joy of Jazz – Johannesburg, South Africa; Dubai Jazz Fest; Barbados Jazz Fest, Java Jazz Festival – Jakarta, Indonesia; The Caribbean Sea Jazz Fest – Aruba and club performances in Seoul, South Korea.

In summer 2010, Lao released "TIZER Live" and as 2011 progresses, the group continues its demanding tour schedule and Lao begins work on a new studio project. - Dover Post


"Clifford Brown Jazz Festival"

Tizer, led by keyboardist and recording artist Lao Tizer, a Best New Artist nominee, captivates audiences of all ages with their eclectic blend of jam based contemporary music. They have shared the stage with such renowned artists as Wayne Shorter, George Benson, The Commodores and more, and will take the stage at the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival at 6:45 p.m. Friday, June 24, at Rodney Square in Wilmington.

In 2008, Lao assembled an all-star concert tour: TIZER featuring Chieli Minucci and international violin virtuoso Karen Briggs (Yanni, Soul II Soul). In 2009 and 2010, the group went International, performing at Joy of Jazz – Johannesburg, South Africa; Dubai Jazz Fest; Barbados Jazz Fest, Java Jazz Festival – Jakarta, Indonesia; The Caribbean Sea Jazz Fest – Aruba and club performances in Seoul, South Korea.

In summer 2010, Lao released "TIZER Live" and as 2011 progresses, the group continues its demanding tour schedule and Lao begins work on a new studio project. - Dover Post


"Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival"

Captivating audiences of all ages and musical tastes, Lao Tizer and his band called TIZER, will surely wow the Aruban crowd with their spectacular performance. The recording artist has received word-wide acclaim for his 2008 all-star concert tour with international violin virtuoso Karen Briggs, who stood out at Yanni’s concerts and with his musical mentor Chieli Minucci. Recent successful debuts of the band have been in Asia and Africa. ‘Golden Soul’ was Lao’s first full-production record and the single ‘Her Poetry’ reached Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Album chart. ‘Diversify’ was released in 2006; ‘Passages’ followed.

Lao Tizer has appeared at premier venues, sharing the stage at events worldwide with artists like Isaac Hayes, George Benson, The Commodores, Bruce Hornsby, Jethro Tull and Spyro Gyra, naming just a few. His recordings have sold over 90,000 copies and he his music can be heard on radio and television airwaves worldwide. Lao began his career during his high school years in his hometown of Boulder, Colorade, and he produced and released his first three keyboard recordings himself by the age of seventeen.

The forth edition of the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival Aruba will take place on October 8 and 9, 2010. This Festival is organized -once again- to provide the people of Aruba and its visitors a high quality music event with the best possible line-up. International, regional, and national artists of the highest standard will be performing at this one-of-its-kind Festival on Aruba! - Aruba.com


"Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival"

Captivating audiences of all ages and musical tastes, Lao Tizer and his band called TIZER, will surely wow the Aruban crowd with their spectacular performance. The recording artist has received word-wide acclaim for his 2008 all-star concert tour with international violin virtuoso Karen Briggs, who stood out at Yanni’s concerts and with his musical mentor Chieli Minucci. Recent successful debuts of the band have been in Asia and Africa. ‘Golden Soul’ was Lao’s first full-production record and the single ‘Her Poetry’ reached Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Album chart. ‘Diversify’ was released in 2006; ‘Passages’ followed.

Lao Tizer has appeared at premier venues, sharing the stage at events worldwide with artists like Isaac Hayes, George Benson, The Commodores, Bruce Hornsby, Jethro Tull and Spyro Gyra, naming just a few. His recordings have sold over 90,000 copies and he his music can be heard on radio and television airwaves worldwide. Lao began his career during his high school years in his hometown of Boulder, Colorade, and he produced and released his first three keyboard recordings himself by the age of seventeen.

The forth edition of the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival Aruba will take place on October 8 and 9, 2010. This Festival is organized -once again- to provide the people of Aruba and its visitors a high quality music event with the best possible line-up. International, regional, and national artists of the highest standard will be performing at this one-of-its-kind Festival on Aruba! - Aruba.com


"Preview of Dubai Jazz Festival"

A fortnight of toe-tapping jazz has reached a crescendo and the main event is finally here.

The Brand New Heavies, David Gray and James Morrison headline three nights, starting tonight, at the eighth edition of the Skywards Dubai International Jazz Festival.

But just as the anticipation has slowly built for these three big nights, organisers will keep you waiting just a bit longer each night before the headliners bring the house down.

But while you wait, there'll be jazz support provided by some of the best names in the business.

Supporting the Brand New Heavies tonight are U-Nam, 39, a French guitarist from Paris, Oud player Charbel Rouhana, 44, from Lebanon and the James Taylor Quartet (JTQ), one of the most popular touring bands in the UK.

David Gray tomorrow is supported by Attila Molnar (Attila the Hun to his mates), 39, a Hungarian solo pianist living in the US, Jane Monheit, an American jazz vocalist who wishes she had a nickname, and Lao Tizer, 31, also from the US, with his band.

The run up to James Morrison on Friday night welcomes American saxophonist Marion Meadows, Laura Izibor and 30-year-old Brett Dennen (BD, B-Boy, Bubba or Boss to his friends) from the US.
tabloid! put the supporting artists through their paces with some questions ahead of the concerts.

Describe your music in a sentence.

U-Nam: A soulful, unexpected, refreshing mix of jazz, soul, funk, pop and R&B.
JTQ: Instrumental organ jazz funk.
Rouhana: My music is my life.
Molnar: Very melodic and soulful, funky with Latin flavour.
Monheit: My music is classic jazz, with Brazilian and traditional pop influences.
Tizer: All original world/jazz/fusion.
Meadows: Very eclectic with an emphasis on the groove.
Dennen: Upbeat Californian singer, songwriter pop.
Do you play instruments or have band accompaniment?
U-Nam: My main instrument is the guitar, but I also play bass and keyboards. I have a band with me.
JTQ: I play the Hammond organ, and I also have a band.
Rouhana: I play oud, and my band is composed of keyboards, electric bass, drums, percussion, violin and sax.
Molnar: I'm a keyboard player with a backing band.
Monheit: I do play instruments, but not professionally. I have an incredible trio — Michael Kanan on piano, Neal Miner on bass, and Rick Montalbano on drums.

Tizer: I play keyboards and have a four-piece band for the jazz fest.
Meadows: I am a saxophonist and I have a touring band.
Dennen: I play guitar and have a full band backing me up.
Why should people catch your show?
U-Nam: Well, I will say, a lot of energy, excitement and emotions on stage. Trying to touch people's souls.
JTQ: For some genuine excitement.
Rouhana: Well, based on my experience, I think our show will appeal to anyone interested in oriental moods presented in untraditional ways.
Molnar: Because they'll hear beautiful music that speaks to the heart and soul.
Monheit: To hear some really swinging and truthful music. Our playing is incredibly sincere, and we take a lot of joy in what we do.
Tizer: It's a unique and entertaining live performance with an all-star line-up of musicians.
Meadows: I would love for people to come out to my show and share a spiritual moment with me.
Dennen: It will make them feel good.
Your best memory in the business?
U-Nam: Wow, so many. I would say showing George [Benson] my double page on the '09 US Ibanez guitars catalogue in which he too featured.
JTQ: Just many beautiful performances around the world over 25 years.
Rouhana: My best memories date back to my beginnings in the field, in addition to many funny incidents with my musicians.
Molnar: Meeting my favourite players, becoming friends and then recording my album with them.
Monheit: Playing with Ivan Lins. Always.
Tizer: Wow. Tough question. I'd say the opportunity to travel internationally and share our music with people around the world is what I enjoy most at this time. We've just returned from Barbados Jazz Festival and I must say it was a thrill to meet Babyface and know he watched us.
Meadows: My most memorable moment was back in New York City when one night, while in the great Grand Central Station, I took my horn out and played. The sound was so incredible a gentlemen walking through the station walked up to me and gave me his card. He was music producer and worked with the famous pianist Bob James.
Dennen: Flying to Dubai.
Don' t miss it
- The Gulf News


"Preview of Dubai Jazz Festival"

A fortnight of toe-tapping jazz has reached a crescendo and the main event is finally here.

The Brand New Heavies, David Gray and James Morrison headline three nights, starting tonight, at the eighth edition of the Skywards Dubai International Jazz Festival.

But just as the anticipation has slowly built for these three big nights, organisers will keep you waiting just a bit longer each night before the headliners bring the house down.

But while you wait, there'll be jazz support provided by some of the best names in the business.

Supporting the Brand New Heavies tonight are U-Nam, 39, a French guitarist from Paris, Oud player Charbel Rouhana, 44, from Lebanon and the James Taylor Quartet (JTQ), one of the most popular touring bands in the UK.

David Gray tomorrow is supported by Attila Molnar (Attila the Hun to his mates), 39, a Hungarian solo pianist living in the US, Jane Monheit, an American jazz vocalist who wishes she had a nickname, and Lao Tizer, 31, also from the US, with his band.

The run up to James Morrison on Friday night welcomes American saxophonist Marion Meadows, Laura Izibor and 30-year-old Brett Dennen (BD, B-Boy, Bubba or Boss to his friends) from the US.
tabloid! put the supporting artists through their paces with some questions ahead of the concerts.

Describe your music in a sentence.

U-Nam: A soulful, unexpected, refreshing mix of jazz, soul, funk, pop and R&B.
JTQ: Instrumental organ jazz funk.
Rouhana: My music is my life.
Molnar: Very melodic and soulful, funky with Latin flavour.
Monheit: My music is classic jazz, with Brazilian and traditional pop influences.
Tizer: All original world/jazz/fusion.
Meadows: Very eclectic with an emphasis on the groove.
Dennen: Upbeat Californian singer, songwriter pop.
Do you play instruments or have band accompaniment?
U-Nam: My main instrument is the guitar, but I also play bass and keyboards. I have a band with me.
JTQ: I play the Hammond organ, and I also have a band.
Rouhana: I play oud, and my band is composed of keyboards, electric bass, drums, percussion, violin and sax.
Molnar: I'm a keyboard player with a backing band.
Monheit: I do play instruments, but not professionally. I have an incredible trio — Michael Kanan on piano, Neal Miner on bass, and Rick Montalbano on drums.

Tizer: I play keyboards and have a four-piece band for the jazz fest.
Meadows: I am a saxophonist and I have a touring band.
Dennen: I play guitar and have a full band backing me up.
Why should people catch your show?
U-Nam: Well, I will say, a lot of energy, excitement and emotions on stage. Trying to touch people's souls.
JTQ: For some genuine excitement.
Rouhana: Well, based on my experience, I think our show will appeal to anyone interested in oriental moods presented in untraditional ways.
Molnar: Because they'll hear beautiful music that speaks to the heart and soul.
Monheit: To hear some really swinging and truthful music. Our playing is incredibly sincere, and we take a lot of joy in what we do.
Tizer: It's a unique and entertaining live performance with an all-star line-up of musicians.
Meadows: I would love for people to come out to my show and share a spiritual moment with me.
Dennen: It will make them feel good.
Your best memory in the business?
U-Nam: Wow, so many. I would say showing George [Benson] my double page on the '09 US Ibanez guitars catalogue in which he too featured.
JTQ: Just many beautiful performances around the world over 25 years.
Rouhana: My best memories date back to my beginnings in the field, in addition to many funny incidents with my musicians.
Molnar: Meeting my favourite players, becoming friends and then recording my album with them.
Monheit: Playing with Ivan Lins. Always.
Tizer: Wow. Tough question. I'd say the opportunity to travel internationally and share our music with people around the world is what I enjoy most at this time. We've just returned from Barbados Jazz Festival and I must say it was a thrill to meet Babyface and know he watched us.
Meadows: My most memorable moment was back in New York City when one night, while in the great Grand Central Station, I took my horn out and played. The sound was so incredible a gentlemen walking through the station walked up to me and gave me his card. He was music producer and worked with the famous pianist Bob James.
Dennen: Flying to Dubai.
Don' t miss it
- The Gulf News


"Preview of Live Performance"

Tizer is a band that defies categorization.

Call the music contemporary jazz, sure, for its free-flowing artistry and the continuing evolution present in the band's live performances, but that still won't capture the diversity of the world rhythms, the neoclassical underpinnings, the rock and funk and even bluegrass that creep into the group's sound.

Keyboardist Lao Tizer started the band, then called the Lao Tizer Band, in 1998. The lineup has changed over the years, with guitarist Jeff Kollman the only original member remaining other than Tizer himself, but the last three years have brought in a stable mix of seven artists: Tizer, Kollman, guitarist Chieli Minucci, violinist Karen Briggs, bassist Rufus Philpot, drummer Raul Pienda and sax man Steve Nieves.

"It's an ever-growing project and process, and we're learning from each other and learning from touring," Tizer said during a recent phone interview. It's late morning, and he's hustling to get out of Manhattan for a show up the road in Yonkers, N.Y. "It's been a great ride."

Starting out: For Tizer, that ride started long before he formed the band.

"When I was 5, my parents got a piano -- actually for my sister -- and I just used to improvise on it," the Colorado native, now 33, says. "I was kind of fascinated by it. ... I didn't know anything about music."

It wasn't until he turned 9 that Tizer started taking formal lessons, and even at that age he was working on composing his own pieces.

"I started out with classical music," he says. "Released my first record at 14."

Before he was a month out of high school, Tizer had released three solo albums. He moved to Los Angeles -- where he still lives -- at 18 and began studying jazz.

"That really expanded my horizons a lot," he says. "It wasn't until I was 19 or 20 that I started writing stuff that was more jazz-influenced."

Although, he notes, "jazz" is "a somewhat loose term because there's a lot of improvisation and creativity."

Translation? Don't try to slap a label on the music. With seven voices in the band now, "everybody's bringing their own flavor to the table," Tizer says.

New album: It's especially true on "Downbeat," the group's first studio album, which features a dozen original tracks composed by Tizer alone or in collaboration with other members of the band.
"It's a very diverse record," he says. "We wanted to capture the identity of what the group has evolved into."

He points to the track "Tanzanika" as a representation of the band's identity, "a lot of the melding of the different flavors of the group." But there are more personal pieces, too, to be found on "Downbeat."

"The Next Step," for example, is dedicated to Tizer's grandmother, who died while the album was being recorded. And "Coming of Age" is "kind of different from everything on the record; it has a kind of bluegrass flavor to it," Tizer says. "My brother and sister-in-law asked me to write it for my niece's bat mitzvah."

Yes, despite being named Lao after Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher and founder of Taoism, Tizer is a self-described third-generation Russian American Jew born to hippie parents. It's just one more way he and his music resist categorization.

York show: The album itself, of course, captures a singular incarnation of the music. When Tizer plays at the Capitol Theatre on Saturday for Yorkfest, the vibe could feel entirely different.

"We haven't played all the tunes off the record live yet," he says, and the songs haven't settled into a groove; they're still living and breathing and evolving. A live performance is "a very organic thing."

In fact, the record won't hit stores until Sept. 18. But early copies will be available for purchase at the York show, which is likely to be a "high-energy" event.

"We're going for it both musically and energetically and playing off each other" on stage, he says. "The audience feeds off us and we feed off the audience."

The band will be a trio Saturday night, with Tizer, Philpot and Pienda on keyboard, bass and drums.
"We're really looking forward to coming back," Tizer says. The group had bad luck at last year's Yorkfest, when the threat of Hurricane Irene may have persuaded even staunch jazz fans to stay home Saturday night (and eventually forced the cancellation of Sunday's festival events). This year, Tizer says, "it'll be great to share the new music with the audience in York. ... We're really proud of it." - York Dispatch


"Preview of Live Performance"

Tizer is a band that defies categorization.

Call the music contemporary jazz, sure, for its free-flowing artistry and the continuing evolution present in the band's live performances, but that still won't capture the diversity of the world rhythms, the neoclassical underpinnings, the rock and funk and even bluegrass that creep into the group's sound.

Keyboardist Lao Tizer started the band, then called the Lao Tizer Band, in 1998. The lineup has changed over the years, with guitarist Jeff Kollman the only original member remaining other than Tizer himself, but the last three years have brought in a stable mix of seven artists: Tizer, Kollman, guitarist Chieli Minucci, violinist Karen Briggs, bassist Rufus Philpot, drummer Raul Pienda and sax man Steve Nieves.

"It's an ever-growing project and process, and we're learning from each other and learning from touring," Tizer said during a recent phone interview. It's late morning, and he's hustling to get out of Manhattan for a show up the road in Yonkers, N.Y. "It's been a great ride."

Starting out: For Tizer, that ride started long before he formed the band.

"When I was 5, my parents got a piano -- actually for my sister -- and I just used to improvise on it," the Colorado native, now 33, says. "I was kind of fascinated by it. ... I didn't know anything about music."

It wasn't until he turned 9 that Tizer started taking formal lessons, and even at that age he was working on composing his own pieces.

"I started out with classical music," he says. "Released my first record at 14."

Before he was a month out of high school, Tizer had released three solo albums. He moved to Los Angeles -- where he still lives -- at 18 and began studying jazz.

"That really expanded my horizons a lot," he says. "It wasn't until I was 19 or 20 that I started writing stuff that was more jazz-influenced."

Although, he notes, "jazz" is "a somewhat loose term because there's a lot of improvisation and creativity."

Translation? Don't try to slap a label on the music. With seven voices in the band now, "everybody's bringing their own flavor to the table," Tizer says.

New album: It's especially true on "Downbeat," the group's first studio album, which features a dozen original tracks composed by Tizer alone or in collaboration with other members of the band.
"It's a very diverse record," he says. "We wanted to capture the identity of what the group has evolved into."

He points to the track "Tanzanika" as a representation of the band's identity, "a lot of the melding of the different flavors of the group." But there are more personal pieces, too, to be found on "Downbeat."

"The Next Step," for example, is dedicated to Tizer's grandmother, who died while the album was being recorded. And "Coming of Age" is "kind of different from everything on the record; it has a kind of bluegrass flavor to it," Tizer says. "My brother and sister-in-law asked me to write it for my niece's bat mitzvah."

Yes, despite being named Lao after Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher and founder of Taoism, Tizer is a self-described third-generation Russian American Jew born to hippie parents. It's just one more way he and his music resist categorization.

York show: The album itself, of course, captures a singular incarnation of the music. When Tizer plays at the Capitol Theatre on Saturday for Yorkfest, the vibe could feel entirely different.

"We haven't played all the tunes off the record live yet," he says, and the songs haven't settled into a groove; they're still living and breathing and evolving. A live performance is "a very organic thing."

In fact, the record won't hit stores until Sept. 18. But early copies will be available for purchase at the York show, which is likely to be a "high-energy" event.

"We're going for it both musically and energetically and playing off each other" on stage, he says. "The audience feeds off us and we feed off the audience."

The band will be a trio Saturday night, with Tizer, Philpot and Pienda on keyboard, bass and drums.
"We're really looking forward to coming back," Tizer says. The group had bad luck at last year's Yorkfest, when the threat of Hurricane Irene may have persuaded even staunch jazz fans to stay home Saturday night (and eventually forced the cancellation of Sunday's festival events). This year, Tizer says, "it'll be great to share the new music with the audience in York. ... We're really proud of it." - York Dispatch


"Preview of Live Performance"

If music is the global language, then world-fusion jazz pianist Lao Tizer is something of a jazz polyglot.

In the last several years, Tizer, a Boulder, Colo., native and Los Angeles transplant, has taken his ensemble of experienced, stylistically diverse players around the world, from the Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia, to the Dubai Jazz Festival and the Festival International Providencia Jazz in Santiago, Chile.

Everywhere the band plays, the blend of elements of world musical styles with improvisation-centric jazz transcends cultural barriers, Tizer said during a recent phone interview while staying in New York City.

"I do think that one great thing about jazz and instrumental or improvised music is that anybody can connect to it if they're open to it," he said. "

"Although jazz is the original American art form, in many other countries, some of the jazz events are even bigger than they are here. I do think that it definitely helps us travel well, for sure."

The self-titled ensemble, a flexible lineup of three to seven members, is the 33-year-old pianist's latest project, but he has been composing and playing since he was 9. Raised on a diet of world music, Tizer released his first self-recorded album at age 14. By the time he graduated high school in 1997 and moved to L.A., he had added two more releases to his catalog.

Tonight, Tizer will perform as a five-piece as the headliner for the second-to-last Nightfall.

By bringing together veterans such as Afro-Cuban percussionist Raul Pineda, virtuosic world/jazz violinist Karen Briggs and rock session guitarist Jeff Kollman, Tizer said, the band is skilled enough to let the music find its own path every night.

"There's a lot of room for spontaneity," he said. "In this realm of music, especially, audiences respond to that.

"Some nights, they stay in the same general realm, and other nights there's something unusual or magical that happens to take it to a new place.

If you're willing to live for the moment, then people will respond to that energy no matter what."

Tizer just finished work on its first studio album, "Downbeat," and will have copies available for sale ahead of its official Sept. 18 release. - Chattanooga Times Free Press


"Preview of Live Performance"

Lao Tizer and his quartet, members from the world fusion band which bears his last name, will be among the performers at the second annual John Coltrane International Jazz & Blues Festival on Saturday at Oak Hollow Festival Park in High Point.

The festival is from 12:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and includes the Clarke/Duke Project (keyboardist George Duke and bassist Stanley Clarke); Grammy award-winning conga player Poncho Sanchez; saxophone player Kirk Whalum as festival host; and vocalist Shemekia Copeland. The Tizer Quartet will feature Tizer on keyboards; Karen Briggs on violin; Cheikh N’Doye on bass and drummer Raul Pineda.

Tizer was heading out the door Tuesday morning, traveling to Philadelphia and York, Pa., Camden, N.J., New York, N.Y., Washington, D.C., and Chattanooga, Tenn., before making his debut at the jazz festival Saturday.

“It’s a busy week,” Tizer said, sounding a bit winded. “But it’s a blessing.”

After a handful of concerts in September, Tizer will embark on a tour of Russia and Korea at the beginning of October to promote its first studio album, “Downbeat,” which will include 12 new original songs.

Although the recording won’t be released in stores until Sept. 18, copies of it will be available at the jazz festival.

Tizer, a native of Boulder, Colo., who now lives in Los Angeles, said he began playing piano at the age of 9 and credits his parents with instilling an appreciation of different kinds of music.

“When I started playing piano, I of course began with classical music, but my parents would listen to a lot of very interesting stuff from Native American, Japanese, East Indian and Middle Eastern music to Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly,” he said.

The Allman Brothers Band was his favorite act in high school and he didn’t become interested in jazz until he turned 19.

“(Tizer) is filled with diverse sounds and explores different flavors. We’re high-energy and interactive,” he said. Tizer performs from a trio to the seven-piece band and besides Tizer, Briggs and Pineda, includes Jeff Kollman, Rufus Philpot and Steve Nieves.

“The group bears my last name, but we perform from an ensemble approach,” Tizer said. “They’re an incredible group of musicians.” Tizer was a 2011 nominee for the Oasis Jazz Awards’ Jazz Group of the Year.

Tizer is thrilled to be performing at a festival honoring the icon of jazz.

“We’re very excited,” he said. - Times-News, Burlington, NC


"Preview of Live Performance"

Lao Tizer and his quartet, members from the world fusion band which bears his last name, will be among the performers at the second annual John Coltrane International Jazz & Blues Festival on Saturday at Oak Hollow Festival Park in High Point.

The festival is from 12:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and includes the Clarke/Duke Project (keyboardist George Duke and bassist Stanley Clarke); Grammy award-winning conga player Poncho Sanchez; saxophone player Kirk Whalum as festival host; and vocalist Shemekia Copeland. The Tizer Quartet will feature Tizer on keyboards; Karen Briggs on violin; Cheikh N’Doye on bass and drummer Raul Pineda.

Tizer was heading out the door Tuesday morning, traveling to Philadelphia and York, Pa., Camden, N.J., New York, N.Y., Washington, D.C., and Chattanooga, Tenn., before making his debut at the jazz festival Saturday.

“It’s a busy week,” Tizer said, sounding a bit winded. “But it’s a blessing.”

After a handful of concerts in September, Tizer will embark on a tour of Russia and Korea at the beginning of October to promote its first studio album, “Downbeat,” which will include 12 new original songs.

Although the recording won’t be released in stores until Sept. 18, copies of it will be available at the jazz festival.

Tizer, a native of Boulder, Colo., who now lives in Los Angeles, said he began playing piano at the age of 9 and credits his parents with instilling an appreciation of different kinds of music.

“When I started playing piano, I of course began with classical music, but my parents would listen to a lot of very interesting stuff from Native American, Japanese, East Indian and Middle Eastern music to Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly,” he said.

The Allman Brothers Band was his favorite act in high school and he didn’t become interested in jazz until he turned 19.

“(Tizer) is filled with diverse sounds and explores different flavors. We’re high-energy and interactive,” he said. Tizer performs from a trio to the seven-piece band and besides Tizer, Briggs and Pineda, includes Jeff Kollman, Rufus Philpot and Steve Nieves.

“The group bears my last name, but we perform from an ensemble approach,” Tizer said. “They’re an incredible group of musicians.” Tizer was a 2011 nominee for the Oasis Jazz Awards’ Jazz Group of the Year.

Tizer is thrilled to be performing at a festival honoring the icon of jazz.

“We’re very excited,” he said. - Times-News, Burlington, NC


"Preview of Live Performance"

It’s like nothing you’ve heard before, and it’s coming to Harrisburg this weekend.? The Tizer Quartet, led by composer and musician Lao Tizer, will play Saturday at the Dauphin County Jazz Festival, offering its blend of eclectic sounds and rhythms.

The group, which changes in size and numbers, will feature Lao Tizer on keys, Cheikh N’Doye on bass, Raul Pineda on drums and Karen Briggs on violin. But don’t let them fool you. The group Tizer is home to up to seven members at a time, each bringing his or her own flair and specialty to the musical scene.

While Tizer is best known for his improvisation, he warned that Briggs can bring down the house when she lets loose on a violin solo.
Tizer has been playing music since age 9, when he tried his hand at the piano. Even at a young age, Tizer said his best music came from letting his hands travel along the keys, releasing sounds and notes that were unplanned.

And then a composer was born.

“I just always had some kind of knack for that,” Tizer said. “It was always kind of my best gift, the thing that came most naturally to me. Since then, I’ve just been growing and building on that.”

Tizer took an unconventional path to stardom. He released his first album at age 14 and his third by the time he graduated from high school.

Now Tizer spends his time touring and “shaking people’s hands,” he said, doing everything he and the band can do to get their sound out to the public.

The band’s new album, “Downbeat,” will be available in stores Sept. 18. Not to worry: If you can’t bear to part with the band’s sound, Tizer said there will be copies for sale at the show Saturday. It’s not your average jazz album. In fact, it’s pretty far from it. As Tizer said, the band members refer to their style of music when played together as “world jazz fusion,” though even those three words don’t do the songs justice.

Whether it be the resonating vocals in “Coming of Age,” which I couldn’t seem to stop playing, or the rock edge of “Downbeat,” these musicians continue to adapt and change the minute you think you have them pegged.

Tizer attributes it to their diverse musical backgrounds. Bassist N’Doye comes from Africa and has traveled worldwide gaining a musical repertoire. “It keeps it very fresh, very fluid,” Tizer said. “We constantly have to work off of each other and adapt.” The most exciting part about the band Tizer, though, comes from its musical selections. Not one piece is plays is something you will have heard before. It’s an original composition.

Original music has a following, one that Tizer said he is hoping to gain as the band continues to play for audiences nationwide and throughout the world. It has shows in Russia and Korea this fall. “These days, it’s never been more important to support the arts and to support music you love,” Tizer said. “We want to meet people, shake hands and build that grassroots following,” he said. - The Patriot News


"Review of "Downbeat""

Just like anything else, as groovy as 70s/80s fusion was through our misty water colored memories, a recent tour through my hard rive showed how vapid a lot of it was with just as much filler a lot of pop records served up. That’s what makes revisionist history so nice. Tizer is a period fusion fan and on this disc of his own design, he picks the best, leaves the rest and serves us some seriously, righteous jamming that calls our attention back to our personal faves of the time and place. Smoking stuff with a hand picked bunch of smoking players on board, this is a tasty journey through a past that’s now created out of whole cloth. A well done date of no fat fusion that sizzles throughout. Tasty! - Midwest Record


"Review of "Downbeat""

Just like anything else, as groovy as 70s/80s fusion was through our misty water colored memories, a recent tour through my hard rive showed how vapid a lot of it was with just as much filler a lot of pop records served up. That’s what makes revisionist history so nice. Tizer is a period fusion fan and on this disc of his own design, he picks the best, leaves the rest and serves us some seriously, righteous jamming that calls our attention back to our personal faves of the time and place. Smoking stuff with a hand picked bunch of smoking players on board, this is a tasty journey through a past that’s now created out of whole cloth. A well done date of no fat fusion that sizzles throughout. Tasty! - Midwest Record


"Review of "Downbeat""

Lots of good buzz surrounding this highly anticipated new release from the jazz, world, fusion group - Tizer. The new release titled Downbeat drops on September 18th and is a magnificent mix of 12 new original tracks that run the sonic spectrum of color and flavor for those who like to roll with the more creative jazz inspired contemporary world music of the day.

The explanation of style seems long and justifiably so because Tizer is not content to simply find one groove and stick with it. Aside from acclaimed keyboardist Lao Tizer who also is a formidable force working as a composer, we have contemporary and Emmy winning jazz guitarist Chieli Minucci, violinist Karen Briggs (Yanni), guitarist Jeff Kollman (Chad Smith), bassist Rufus Philpot from Down To The Bone and Cuban drum titan Raul Pineda. This release is literally top heavy with first call "A" list talent!

The mix here is Afro-Cuban and world rhythms laced with post modern jazz, rock, some surprising classical and even jam-band influences that have this release attacking both the visceral and cerebral soul of the listener. An over whelming retro fusion sound from 35 years ago combined with state of the art studio sound manages to capture the energy of one of the hottest working bands to date but without the over use of production tricks such as compression to sanitize the music for your protection or programming whose only legitimate purpose is to help those fans of smooth jazz find the beat after waking up from their musically induced coma. Programming here is kept to a bare minimum and used for creative effect. Lao Tizer co-produced this release which was recorded live in the studio in an effort to capture the raw energy of a Tizer show which he did flawlessly.

"World In Rhythm" is in fact world fusion. The live rhythm section acts as an organic foundation from which the compositions are carefully built around with layers of texture and lyrical intensity sadly missing from similar releases by other artists. Minucci and Tizer co-wrote "World In Rhythm" and the resulting synergy between the two is virtually electric. "Acid Rain" opens this stellar release accentuated with a pop of percussion and groove that is guaranteed to have you hear with your hips and feel with your feet. Lyrically, Tizer breaks the melody down and the harmonic sense of purpose and direction is clear. The killer percussion section has that South Beach vibe so many attempt but so few pull off. Two words that immediately come to mind on this release as well as this particular tune are flair and finesse. The six string work of Jeff Kollman is the perfect counterpoint to Tizer on piano. Tizer fires on all cylinders and runs clean from open to close. The great Steve Nieves kills on tenor sax! "Downbeat" is that nice bit of what I call jazz nasty which is when the band is just too funky for their own good. Kollman is responsible for laying down a nasty yet deceptively subtle groove that the entire ensemble seems to jump on with both feet.

When it comes to contemporary jazz such as this there are pretenders and then we have the real deal in Tizer. Fire and ice, beautiful melodies that can touch your soul and a screaming guitar that can set your hair on fire all at the same time. I approach all things contemporary with extreme caution as I normally walk away disappointed having heard the same tired, predictable sonic overkill more times then I care to recall. Tizer is easily one of the best contemporary releases of the year as it transcends genre with ease and creates new sounds and textures that are so desperately needed in this area of jazz today. Exciting, innovative and addictive - Tizer will have you coming back for more! 5 stars - CriticalJazz.com


"Review of "Downbeat""

Lots of good buzz surrounding this highly anticipated new release from the jazz, world, fusion group - Tizer. The new release titled Downbeat drops on September 18th and is a magnificent mix of 12 new original tracks that run the sonic spectrum of color and flavor for those who like to roll with the more creative jazz inspired contemporary world music of the day.

The explanation of style seems long and justifiably so because Tizer is not content to simply find one groove and stick with it. Aside from acclaimed keyboardist Lao Tizer who also is a formidable force working as a composer, we have contemporary and Emmy winning jazz guitarist Chieli Minucci, violinist Karen Briggs (Yanni), guitarist Jeff Kollman (Chad Smith), bassist Rufus Philpot from Down To The Bone and Cuban drum titan Raul Pineda. This release is literally top heavy with first call "A" list talent!

The mix here is Afro-Cuban and world rhythms laced with post modern jazz, rock, some surprising classical and even jam-band influences that have this release attacking both the visceral and cerebral soul of the listener. An over whelming retro fusion sound from 35 years ago combined with state of the art studio sound manages to capture the energy of one of the hottest working bands to date but without the over use of production tricks such as compression to sanitize the music for your protection or programming whose only legitimate purpose is to help those fans of smooth jazz find the beat after waking up from their musically induced coma. Programming here is kept to a bare minimum and used for creative effect. Lao Tizer co-produced this release which was recorded live in the studio in an effort to capture the raw energy of a Tizer show which he did flawlessly.

"World In Rhythm" is in fact world fusion. The live rhythm section acts as an organic foundation from which the compositions are carefully built around with layers of texture and lyrical intensity sadly missing from similar releases by other artists. Minucci and Tizer co-wrote "World In Rhythm" and the resulting synergy between the two is virtually electric. "Acid Rain" opens this stellar release accentuated with a pop of percussion and groove that is guaranteed to have you hear with your hips and feel with your feet. Lyrically, Tizer breaks the melody down and the harmonic sense of purpose and direction is clear. The killer percussion section has that South Beach vibe so many attempt but so few pull off. Two words that immediately come to mind on this release as well as this particular tune are flair and finesse. The six string work of Jeff Kollman is the perfect counterpoint to Tizer on piano. Tizer fires on all cylinders and runs clean from open to close. The great Steve Nieves kills on tenor sax! "Downbeat" is that nice bit of what I call jazz nasty which is when the band is just too funky for their own good. Kollman is responsible for laying down a nasty yet deceptively subtle groove that the entire ensemble seems to jump on with both feet.

When it comes to contemporary jazz such as this there are pretenders and then we have the real deal in Tizer. Fire and ice, beautiful melodies that can touch your soul and a screaming guitar that can set your hair on fire all at the same time. I approach all things contemporary with extreme caution as I normally walk away disappointed having heard the same tired, predictable sonic overkill more times then I care to recall. Tizer is easily one of the best contemporary releases of the year as it transcends genre with ease and creates new sounds and textures that are so desperately needed in this area of jazz today. Exciting, innovative and addictive - Tizer will have you coming back for more! 5 stars - CriticalJazz.com


"Review of "Diversify""

“Lao Tizer is a brilliant keyboardist and composer whose seamless blend of hard and soulful grooves, spirited improvisations and extreme sense of melody puts him in the same league with the more celebrated smooth jazz player Brian Culbertson…”


- Music Connertion


"Jacksonville Jazz Festival"

“…This was an odd numbered year and it was beautiful and sleeveless shirt warm for the Friday evening concert at Metropolitan Park. People were starting to wander in and settle in for the evening when Lao Tizer started his set. Nobody at my table had ever heard him. I told them they would want all his CDs by the end of his set and they did. Tizer is one of the new generation of instrumentalists who can't really be categorized. It's a mixture of pop-rock, world beat, and contemporary jazz with some jam band sensibility thrown in. Tizer is a powerful player who can shift effortlessly from power chords and funky riffs to lyrical ballads… The set was full of guitar and drum solos, percussion jams, and hook-heavy songs that had the crowd on their feet. With all the talk about smooth jazz artists who can bridge the generation gap and bring a younger vibe to the genre Lao Tizer and his band…should be mentioned more often as one of the acts that is on the front lines of this movement.” - Smooth Views


"Barbados Jazz Festival"

What a treat seeing this many known accomplished players in one band. Who said fusion was a dinosaur decimated from the bruising strokes of the now extinct smooth jazz invasion?

Lao Tizer and company would beg to argue with that assessment.

Tizer is the brainchild of gifted keyboardist Lao Tizer. The band functions on high octane playing with long improvisational passages and intricately crafted motifs and counterpoint. With guitarist Chieli Minucci and violinist Karen Briggs nearby Tizer acted as central command nodding and directing from the keyboard pillar. For excitement, there were plenty moments of intersecting ideas especially when Briggs made her entries. Briggs has a natural way of elevating a song by just selecting the right sequence of notes for the moment then letting go. She also has a quiet stage presence that gives the ensemble a solid visual component.

Is there an audience for revisionist music as such? Obviously! Tizer seems to have a schedule that works for him. Is there still demand for music rooted in the Return to Forever, Mahavishnu Orchestra tradition? May be! - JazzTimes


"Barbados Jazz Festival"

January 17, 2010 events at the Barbados Jazz Festival were held at Farley Hill National Park in St. Peter. The location is held atop a beautiful cliffside park with a scenic view below of the water, beach and rolling hills that is just a short walk from the bandstand. Acts featured on this pleasantly warm Caribbean afternoon/evening with a few setup delays were Bwakore, Tizer (featuring Lao Tizer, Chieli Minucci and Karen Briggs) and Robin Thicke.
A playful Lao Tizer generously took the time to speak with this reporter before his performance and answered questions for all the media after the band's vibrant set. Lao appeared especially honored to be visiting the island. "The venue is spectacular, intimate and almost mysterious. The people are sweet and warm," he said. Taking in a bit of fun was also on the agenda. Lao, who had never sipped the Caribbean rum, said he found it to be "very good." (For all those that have visited the island, you know that the Barbadian rum is part of the national heritage of the community.)

The music of the "Tizer" group is an eclectic blend of world rhythms with earthy undertones and energetic arrangements. Tizer told the press after the performance that he believed "audiences are hungry for firey, live shows." Guitarist Chieli Minucci and violinist Karen Briggs complimented the fusion mix with their own brand of individuality, along with a tight rhythm section that didn't let go. The result was indeed a driving, original presentation with an edge.

The greatest challenge for this brand of music in the past few years has been the lack of radio support in the States. As most instrumental pop music fans know, the former world of "smooth jazz" is changing. The support mechanism for getting new music to the masses may indeed rest in the hands of .com radio and Internet magazines.

When asked about how they will market themselves, Lao appears to be leaning more toward live performances as a means to share the music. Let us hope that more jazz festivals like the Barbados Jazz Festival will continue to generously support new music. Kudos to the Barbados organizer, Gilbert Rowe, for taking a risk and hosting a variety of styles. (This reporter also especially enjoyed hearing the local bands earlier in the week, as the future rests in the hands of the next generation.)
- Jazz Review


"Review of "Diversify""

“…Lao Tizer's Diversify is an example of tasteful commercialism. No one will mistake this crossover jazz/fusion offering for straight-ahead bop, but Tizer's blend of jazz and pop -- for all its accessibility -- has substance… Although Tizer maintains a strong sense of groove, Diversify has more meat on its bones than 95-percent of the stuff that smooth jazz/NAC stations are playing these days…Diversify is well worth hearing if one is looking for commercial pop-jazz that has a brain.” - All Music Guide


"Common Ground Festival"

Tizer and his band opened the East Main Stage on Tuesday at Common Ground. Watching the band, it's easy to imagine that even if the power had cut out mid set, Tizer who would still be pounding passion into the keys, wild eyes and facial expressions responding note-by-note. The band, featuring Tizer on keyboard, Andre Manga going heavy on slap-bass, and percussionist Steve Nieves throwing in an occasional Latin sound beat on the hand-drums, was consistently funky. - Lansing City Pulse


"Review of "Diversify""

“…Lao Tizer's Diversify is an example of tasteful commercialism. No one will mistake this crossover jazz/fusion offering for straight-ahead bop, but Tizer's blend of jazz and pop -- for all its accessibility -- has substance… Although Tizer maintains a strong sense of groove, Diversify has more meat on its bones than 95-percent of the stuff that smooth jazz/NAC stations are playing these days…Diversify is well worth hearing if one is looking for commercial pop-jazz that has a brain.” - All Music Guide


Discography

"Golden Soul" - Frat House Records 2001
"Diversify" - Yse Records 2007
"Passages" - Yse Records 2009
"TIZER Live" - Yse Records 2010
"Downbeat" - JLK Productions 2012

Photos

Bio

Driven by an explosive mix of jazz, rock, classical , jam band influences and Afro Cuban and world rhythms, "Downbeat" the first studio album by TIZER, a multi-cultural band led by Boulder, CO native, keyboardist/composer Lao Tizer.  TIZER throws down a high powered collection of 12 brand-new originals on this scintillating release of fresh instrumental music from one of todays rising stars of the world-fusion genre. Establishing themselves in the contemporary jazz world over the past few years, TIZER has spurred comparisons of a modern twist to the 70s and early 80s heyday of jazz fusion, when trailblazing ensembles like Return To Forever, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Weather Report set the aesthetic standard.

Truly embodying the title and spirit of his 2007 solo album "Diversify," Lao assembled a group of veteran world-class musicians to create a dynamic rich with new melodic, harmonic and improvisational possibilities. Co-produced by Lao and guitarist Jeff Kollman, the eclectic set includes five original compositions by Lao and numerous collaborations with his cohorts, including the first single World In Rhythm, co-written with Emmy winner and Grammy nominated guitarist Chieli Minucci, best known as founder and leader of Special EFX.

Over the past few years, TIZER, a 2011 nominee for "Jazz Group of the Year"--has taken their multi-faceted world fusion vibe around the globe, galvanizing thousands at events including the Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, the Joy of Jazz Festival in Johannesburg, the Dubai Jazz Festival, Barbados Jazz Festival, the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival and the Festival International Providencia Jazz in Santiago, Chile. In addition to their usual whirlwind of U.S. dates, their 2012 schedule in support of "Downbeat" includes the Jarasum International Jazz Festival in South Korea and four shows in Russia. While Lao was a Best New Jazz Artist nominee in 2002 and "Diversify" spent many weeks on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart, TIZER has a multi-genre, multi-national appeal that expands beyond just jazz enthusiasts. Their diverse resume includes performance slots alongside Zappa Plays Zappa, Jethro Tull, Isaac Hayes, Al Jarreau, Spyro Gyra, George Benson, Soulive, Babyface, Bruce Hornsby and Robin Thicke.

Those who havent yet experienced TIZER's intensity, expansive arrangements and exciting soloing in concert got the next best thing with the groups 2010 debut release "TIZER Live," which captured the vibrant interaction of what Lao calls the ultimate cultural and musical melting pot, currently featuring; Italian-American New Yorker Minucci, African American violin great Karen Briggs, Grammy winning saxophone legend Eric Marienthal, drum phenom Gene Coye, Grammy nominated bassist Ric Fierabracci, Senegalese bassist Cheikh N'Doye, Steve Nieves (sax/vocals/percussion) and Lao himself, who grew up in Boulder, Colorado. The live concert recording at the world renowned Musicians Institute in Hollywood was TIZERs very first live performance as a group; it included fresh interpretations of seven songs from Laos earlier recordings, including "Diversify" and "Golden Soul" (2001).

"Downbeat" marks the first time that Lao has co-produced one of his albums. Loving the big sound of the band and all the intricacies it has in the live setting inspired his simple concept when it came time to write and record the album. Producing and mixing with Jeff, my goal was to give listeners a taste of the energy TIZER creates in the live setting, so most of the recording was done live in the studio, he says. While no solo on disc can capture what happens onstage, we wanted 'Downbeat' to have the same blend and balance via strong, detailed arrangements and studio production. It all starts with a completely live rhythm sectiondrums, bass, percussion, keysand that translates to an organic foundation to build from.

Band Members