"Moving easily between lyrical themes to modern, dynamic grooves, Jon Lax is one of those inventive musicians who has the ability to mix with great taste various musical styles such as jazz, new age, classical, world music. His music captures the sounds of nature, converting them into beautiful melodies charged with emotion and spirit." (JazzWorldQuest)
Instruments: Piano, Keyboards, Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Woodwinds, EWI 4000, Latin Percussion.
Music Styles: Jazz, Fusion, Classical, Blues, Experimental and Contemporary Instrumentals
History: Born in 1955 St. Louis Mo. grew up with a musical family and began music and theory lessons on piano at age 8. After his father’s early death, the family moved to the Adirondacks in Upstate NY. Jon had an incredible appetite for learning new things and exploring, along with mastering many different musical instruments. He started writing his first compositions and songs during high school due to the prompting of his High School music Director who routinely let Jon escape the general classrooms studies for working in the music dept practicing piano and repairing instruments for the school band.
Consumed with passion for music, at the age of 17, Jon started working in several rock and fusion bands then played folk and blues in coffee houses, small clubs, subway stations and pool bars in many New England cities and small towns.
With a varied and versatile background in performing Jazz, Rock, Folk and Blues music throughout New England, Jon moved to the Bay Area California in l977, More focused on writing for contemporary and jazz piano, influenced by piano and keyboard players Cecil Taylor, McCoy Tyner, Bob James, and Theloneous Monk. Jon met and worked closely with many musicians, frequently visiting Keystone Korner club gaining new insights into jazz music, Latin and Cuban rhythm and syncopation. These styles later being a major influence in many of his works.
In 1981, Jon side stepped from a music career took up flying and became an accomplished commercial pilot and flight instructor. Continuing to live in the Bay area as a pilot, Jon witnessed the beginnings of midi and electronic music era, taking an everlasting foot hold in the music industry. Being technically inclined, Jon quickly learned and adapted this new technology, reinvigorating interest and ability to write and produce new music. This was the beginning of a very creative period as the revolution of independent composers flourished. Jon became a charter member of MACSAP consisting of many North Bay electronic composers furthering the interest and exchange of musical ideas and applications.
In 1990 Jon moved Santa Fe New Mexico where he started a small music company. He produced music combining applied computer technology and digital/analog recording techniques. His focus on integrating MIDI technology with acoustic instruments differentiated himself from other electronic composers at that time. Jon produce several independent albums released on cassette during that time including: The Phantom Band, Current Conditions, and Incognito. Jon returned to the east coast in 1994 as special project manager for Dassault Falcon Jet continuing to work on music composition and production in spare time.
In 2003 Jon Lax released a compilation of previous works on CD adding several new compositions. ”Mystic Places” was then distributed by Peace Works Music internationally. In 2006 Jon release a CD, Autumn Dance includes some newer jazz works including some early piano jazz compositions never recorded (Hocus Pocus, Keystone Korner and Winter Night). A tribute to the many nights spent listen to Jazz greats at the Keystone Korner in San Francisco during the early 1980’s. Included on this CD is violin work by his daughter Jeanna and Jazz saxophonist, Jeff Hummel. Wind and Stars digital album is the latest release melding many new contemporary musical styles and remix of three earlier compositions recorded previously that were only available on cassettes (no longer available).
"My method to produce music is very similar to a landscape painter. My music pallet that I use consists of piano, acoustic and electric guitars, woodwinds and percussion instruments (that I play) sampling, and other musicians. I use the computer based recording, midi sequencing as my set of paint brushes to apply to the canvas. Improvisation and experimental music tracks are often used as first layer that I will build a composition. Then I will add other live instrument tracks that I or other musicians record based from musical notation. I build the composition experimenting with different sounds, samples and mixes, cutting and splicing like filmmaker to construct scenes and duration. Often painted with many layers, I routinely have to thin the composition as to keep it from being overly complex. Calling completion is arbitrary, often when I become intrigued by another sound or melody I want to explore. I am constantly in more of a creation mode which I prefer over performing in music. I am intrigued with innovation and applying technology. Although using technology may be out of trend or not valid from purist sensitivity, it is the way music has always evolved and become born again with new sounds and melody that stirs our sense and communication on a more ethereal consciousness."
Retired from aviation, Jon remains involved in music production services and assisting other artists in creative development.