TIZER (Lao Tizer)
Lao Tizer – keys
Jeff Kollman – guitar
Steve Nieves – sax, perc, vox
Rufus Philpot – bass
Raul Pineda – drums
Lao Tizer is a keyboardist who is considered by many to be a torchbearer for the new generation of contemporary jazz. He is a “Best New Jazz Artist” nominee and Yamaha-endorsed pianist and keyboardist, whose group, Tizer, was a 2011 “Jazz Group of the Year” nominee.
Tizer has shared the stage with artists like Isaac Hayes, Boney James, Wayne Shorter, George Benson, The Commodores, Robin Thicke, The Rippingtons, Bruce Hornsby, Jethro Tull, and Spyro Gyra. Tizers recordings can be heard on radio and television airwaves worldwide. His talents continue to evolve and command attention.
Tizer first started playing at the age of five, when he became enchanted by the sounds of a piano originally purchased for his sister.
After several years of tinkering, his parents finally gave in to their sons pleading for lessons and, at the age of nine, he began his formal training. The long-awaited lessons flourished as he quickly exhibited his flair for composition and improvisation.
My parents always encouraged me to pursue my own creativity, he said. I learned early on how to improvise and be musically adventurous. Tizer began his career during his high school years in his hometown of Boulder, Colorado, and self-produced and released his first three solo keyboard recordings by the age of 17.
In 1997, Tizer relocated to Los Angeles to further pursue his musical passion and quickly attracted the attention of renowned contemporary jazz guitarist, composer, producer and Emmy Winner Chieli Minucci (Special EFX).
Collaboration on a demo project ensued and within only a few months, Tizer was wowing audiences in the City of Angels. In 1998, with advice from Minucci, Lao formed Tizer (formerly the Lao Tizer Band) featuring an all-star lineup including Jeff Kollman guitar; Rufus Philpot bass, Raul Pineda drums, and Steve Nieves sax, percussion and vocals.
In 2001, Frat House Records released “Golden Soul,” The single, Her Poetry, received accolades from all sectors of the industry and charted on both the Gavin Charts and Radio & Records reports and reached Billboards Contemporary Jazz Album chart.
The success of “Golden Soul” planted and nurtured the groundling effort of Tizers growing fan base and spurred the progression of their inspiring live concert experience.
In 2006, Tizer returned to the studio to record “Diversify,” Laos first release for Yse Records. Produced by long-time friend and guitarist Jeff Kollman, the musical themes of Diversify truly reflect its title. The album expounds upon Laos broad artistic influences while staying firmly rooted in his benchmark style. The record features phenomenal piano performances from Lao, supported by his handpicked group and features guest appearances by top-flight artists including: Chieli Minucci, Karen Briggs, Munyungo Jackson and Andy Suzuki.
Both singles from the album charted on both Radio & Records Jazz Indicator and SmoothJazz.com charts. “Diversify” continues to appear on Billboards Contemporary Jazz Album chart thanks to this airplay and a busy concert schedule.
In 2008, Lao assembled an all-star concert tour: Tizer featuring the aforementioned Chieli Minucci and international violin virtuoso Karen Briggs (Yanni, Soul II Soul, Stanley Clarke, etc). In 2009, Lao released “Passages,” a return to his roots in a more piano-oriented solo project. 2009 & 2010 saw Lao and Tizer make their International Concert debuts with performances at Joy of Jazz Johannesburg, South Africa; Dubai Jazz Fest; Barbados Jazz Fest, Java Jazz Festival Jakarta, Indonesia; The Caribbean Sea Jazz Fest Aruba and club performances in Seoul, South Korea. In summer 2010, Lao released Tizer Live, which captures to spellbinding music and charisma of the Tizer concert experience.
Tizer is currently working on a new Tizer studio project and continuing his demanding tour schedule. Don’t miss this electrifying jazz pianist and Anthology favorite.
Sound Observations with Lao Tizer of Tizer
By David Moye
When you’re named Lao Tizer and you perform under the name “Tizer,’ there is a tendency for music fans to think that you’re a solo act helped out by side musicians.
Make no mistake: While Lao is a respected jazz pianist, one considered by many to be a torchbearer for the new generation of contemporary jazz, Tizer is a band, of which he is one of five to seven musicians, depending on the lineup.
“In the past, the focus of Tizer the bad has been my writing, along with collaborative arrangements by the other musicians,” Lao said in advance of his March 12 performance at Anthology. “We are starting to compose collaboratively and, in fact, we will debut one new tune that was written that way.
“I think in the future, I am going to just bring song ideas instead of complete songs so the other musicians can collaborate.”
Lao is truly a rising star in the world of contemporary jazz. Along with being a “Best New Jazz Artist” nominee a few years back, Tizer itself was nominated for Jazz Group of the Year.
Before going the band route, Lao shared the stage with artists like Isaac Hayes, Boney James, Wayne Shorter, George Benson, The Commodores, Robin Thicke, The Rippingtons, Bruce Hornsby, Jethro Tull, and Spyro Gyra.
His own recording can be heard on radio and television airwaves worldwide. His talents continue to evolve and command attention.
Not bad, considering he wasn’t the family member who was “chosen” to play piano.
Lao first started playing at the age of five, when he became enchanted by the sounds of a piano originally purchased for his sister.
After several years of tinkering, his parents finally gave in to their son’s pleading for lessons and, at the age of nine, he began his formal training at the age of nine.
The long-awaited lessons flourished as he quickly exhibited his flair for composition and improvisation.
“Funnily enough, my sister did take lessons, but she didn’t start until after me,” he said.
Thanks to parents who encouraged him to pursue creativity, Lao learned early on how to improvise and be musically adventurous.
How adventurous? Well, he began his career during his high school years in his hometown of Boulder, Colorado, and self-produced and released his first three solo keyboard recordings by the age of 17.
Although the music of Lao and of Tizer, the band, is labeled as contemporary jazz or even smooth jazz, he considers it more “world fusion” than anything else.
“A lot of the songs have that Afro-Cuban flair, but the melodies can be outside of the box and we employ some odd time signatures here and there,” he said.
As such, Lao sees Tizer’s music as sort of a gateway drug for new jazz fans.
“I admire traditional jazz and bebop, but there is a rhythmic sense to Tizer’s music that makes it easy for an audience to connect. It adds more energy and makes it more free-flowing,” he said. “I feel like we’re ambassadors and exposing people to other horizons as well.”