Dr. Lawrence Sutherland
Dr. Lawrence Sutherland began his career in jazz education at the University of Missouri, where he started the school’s first jazz ensemble in 1963. Coming to California State University, Fresno in 1969, he assumed direction of the “A” Band for the next 30 years. During that time, the band performed yearly at the Pacific Coast Jazz Festival at California State University, Northridge and Berkeley, three times at the Seattle Opera House, as well as the Reno, Montreux, Ozone and North Sea jazz festivals.
Many “A” Band alumni have gone on to teaching posts at major universities and schools across the world. Dr. Sutherland started his professional career while still at university, as a trombonist on the road with the Tommy Dorsey Band, directed by Warren Covington, and the Ralph Marterie and Ray Eberle bands.
For the past fifty years, he has played with hundreds of pop and jazz musicians, including Clark Terry, Frank Rosolino, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Johnny Mathis, Mel Tormé, Joe Williams, Bobby Caldwell, Eartha Kitt, the Temptations and the 4 Tops, to name just a few. Dr. Sutherland served as the Western Coordinator of NAJE for eight years, and as president of the Southern Section of IAJE. He has directed the California All-State Jazz Band, among many other honor jazz groups.