Lawrence Ku is one of the most influential jazz musicians and educators in China. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Lawrence has made China his home for over ten years. Since late 2005, he has been living in Shanghai. He plays regularly at the JZ Club (www.jzclub.cn) and is principal of the JZ School (www.jz-school.com). He has previously resided in Beijing, where he performed regularly and taught at the Midi School of Music and the Beijing Contemporary Music Institute, and Boston, where he did his graduate work in composition and jazz performance at the Longy School of Music and the New England Conservatory.
Lawrence leads several projects including The Lawrence Ku Septet (which recently recorded and released its first CD “Process” in 2007), The Red Groove Project, and two versions of the Lawrence Ku Trio (guitar/bass/drums and guitar/organ/drums). His groups have been featured at the Helsinki Jazz Festival, Beijing Ninegates Jazz Festival, the Shanghai International Jazz Festival, the JZ Music Festival, The Hong Kong International Jazz Festival and the Taichung International Jazz Festival among others. He is also involved in several other projects as a sideman or co-leader including The Far East Quartet (which recently released its debut recording “Something Real”), the Alec Haavik Friction Band, Theo Croker’s Afrosonic Orchestra, the JZ All-Star Big Band, and Five Below. As one of the most significant jazz educators in China, Lawrence has taught hundreds of students from all over China, many of who have gone on to bright careers as performers and educators themselves. Lawrence has also hosted a weekly television program about jazz called “More Than Jazz” on the ICS channel in Shanghai. He is endorsed by D’addario guitar strings.
As part of the diverse and constantly growing music scene in Shanghai, he has performed with musicians from all over the world, including Dee Dee Bridgewater, Laura Fygi, Shunza, Sinne Eeg, Jon Morrison, David Friesen, Ryan Kisor, David Braid, Alex Riel, Benjamin Koppel, Chris Washburne, Ole Mathisen, Teemu Viinikainen, Niklas Winter, Eugene Pao, Peter Scherr, Campbell Ryga, Cennet Jonsson, James Danderfer, Steinar Nickelsen, Simon Barker, Andy Hunter, Victor Noriega, and many others.