Arnie Lawrence, 1938-2005
Many of our readers may best know of or recall jazz saxophonist and college professor Arnie Lawrence for Wasabi, the group he assembled in the early 90’s that also featured John Popper, The Spin Doctors Eric Schenkman, Aaron Comess and Mark White as well as Rene Lopez (The Authority), and Lawrences son Erik. Lawrence met many of the aforementioned musicians through his role as a founding faculty member of the New Schools jazz program. In the years prior to his New School efforts, he had performed with many jazz notables including Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry and put in a five year stint with the Tonight Show Band. Lawrence moved to Israel in 1997 where he began teaching jazz via the International Center for Creative Music, bringing together both Jewish and Arab musicians. It was in Jerusalem where Lawrence passed away on April 22 due to lung and liver cancer. A memorial is planned for this evening at New Yorks Nightingale Bar with another event currently scheduled for July 10 at St. Peter’s Jazz Church.