Prince H. Lawsha is a multi-faceted musician whose talents include performer, composer, manager and record producer. As a percussionist, Lawsha believes that “Everything in life has a rhythm, as with nature and the seasons, a garden growing, the rhythm of rain, or wind in the trees, just as our own heartbeat and breathing are rhythmic.” Inspired by all sounds, his music reaches new heights of energy and creativity, encompassing rhythm, harmony and melody on the drums. “Music is the magic of the world,” Lawsha says, “Music evokes emotion…and rhythms are the unifying force, the heart of that emotion.”
Influenced by the musical styles of Gospel, Jazz, Latin, and Rhythm & Blues, and by his appreciation for the rich diversity of the world’s cultures, Lawsha is creating refreshing compositions which highlight both his drumming prowess and a range of rhythmic tempos. Lawsha’s debut CD Planetary Rhythms glows straight from his heart, reflecting a dynamic synergy of world rhythms from African, Latin and island cultures, fused with his own inner rhythms. Avowing universal appeal, this effervescent music knows no ethnic boundaries, and landed him a three record deal in 1997 with Sony France. The album showcases a diverse lineup of musicians, including Parisian trumpeter Alain Brunet. Lawsha and Brunet charmed audiences on their tour of villages in the south of France in August 1998 playing music that brought magic to the stage.
Lawsha’s dazzling new CD Sweet Mango, on his own label, QS Records, serves up an exotic blend of innovative compositions and seductive rhythms that’s both irresistibly danceable and soothing to the soul. As the independent executive producer of both albums, Lawsha collaborated with producer and master percussionist Kenneth Nash and the same lineup of talented musicians from the premier album to create this ‘rhythm party’ on which his drumming sways with a tantalizing groove. Sweet Mango is scheduled for release in the summer of 2000. Lawsha’s band launched a concert tour in French Polynesia in October 1999, where island audiences celebrated the festive flavor of his music. He is currently planning a European promotional tour with the band in the summer of 2001.
As a fourth generation musician, music was instinctive to Prince H Lawsha. He was influenced early on by the local stars who visited and played with his father, noted jazz saxophonist William “Prince” Lawsha in Fort Worth, Texas: Ornette Coleman, Charles Moffett, “King” Curtis, Dewey Redman and Sonny Simmons. Lawsha began playing drums at age seven, and was soon singing in the church choir. Progressing to other percussion instruments, by high school Lawsha was performing in the marching band, and at night played Rhythm & Blues and country music in area clubs.
After majoring in business administration with a minor in music, Lawsha, went on to receive three National Endowment For The Arts grants in the late seventies for Jazz and Ethnic Music Studies. One of these grants was to study with world renowned percussionist Kenneth Nash. With another grant he was mentored by Max Roach, the seminal pioneer of creative drumming. These associations have led to lifelong friendships and business relationships.
As owner and executive director of his own management company, QS Music Productions, since 1979, Lawsha has organized a wide range of entertainment business for both the private and corporate sectors. His Quiet Spirit Publishing company is a member of ASCAP. Lawsha has excelled as the business tour manager for Max Roach since 1982, coordinating all aspects of the performance tours for Roach’s various ensembles, touring the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia, Turkey, Israel, and extensively throughout Europe. Learning by virtual osmosis from this internationally acclaimed percussionist has been an invaluable first-hand experience.
Max Roach exclaims, “Prince has his finger on the pulse and style of dealing with percussion and music itself. He has something of his own to portray and it fits in with how he thinks about people, warmly. If music truly is the elixir of life, then Prince H. Lawsha, with his musical tradition and creative skills, is appropriately giving rhythm to it.”