Jarrod Lawson
Jarrod Lawson

Jarrod Lawson

About Jarrod Lawson

Jarrod Lawson is a composer, keyboardist, and singer who is heavily inspired by the likes of Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway. Like those legends, he incorporates social and spiritual messages into his uplifting sound. His chops suggest a broad range of musical knowledge and a deep connection to jazz; as a vocalist alone, he has been favorably compared to Al Jarreau and Mark Murphy. Since making his recorded debut with the accolade-garnering Jarrod Lawson (2014), Lawson has cut an eclectic set of instrumentals under his Orpheus alias, as well as Be the Change (2020), the second LP credited to his birth name.


Lawson grew up surrounded by music, due in large part to his father, who operated a recording studio in the family's home in Redwood City, California. First attracted to the drums as a toddler, his interest in music continued to develop throughout his childhood, which included a move north to Oregon, and lessons from his father. In college, he studied music and participated in a chamber choir and jazz ensemble. His reputation as a solo performer was built through numerous gigs in Portland, opening dates for a number of highly regarded R&B and jazz artists, and some international tours. His harmonically rich self-titled debut album was issued in 2014 (on Dome in the U.K., and self-released in the U.S.). A favorite of the BBC's Gilles Peterson, among other DJs and R&B fans who dug beneath the surface of commercial radio, it was subsequently nominated for one of Peterson's Worldwide Awards (Album of the Year), and Jazz FM named Lawson their Soul Artist of the Year.
Not rushed into recording his second album, Lawson continued to tour and perform at festivals on an international scale and across the next few years appeared on albums by artists encompassing R&B, jazz, and rap. A four-song session recorded at the BBC for Gilles Peterson's program was released commercially in 2015. The next year, Lawson and fellow Portlander Tahirah Memory teamed up for the InterMission EP. Lawson diverted with Visions, a primarily instrumental LP credited to Orpheus, issued in 2019. Be the Change, the proper follow-up to Jarrod Lawson, arrived in 2020. ~ Andy Kellman

  • BORN
    September 16, 1976

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