Sebastien Lanson


Sebastien Lanson is a versatile performer with a guitar style that adapts readily to both ends of the jazz spectrum — from traditional to contemporary.

Taking up the guitar at age 14, he began formal training one year later with his aunt, Marie-Nonne Lanson, a professional classical performer and teacher. His musical education continued at the American School of Modern Music in Paris, an affiliate of The Berklee College of Music in Boston, spending four years studying composition, improvisation, and arranging. He attended master classes with such jazz greats as Gary Burton, Randy Brecker, and Steve Swallow, and studied for several years with jazz guitar master Philippe Petit. In France, he played in some of the most famous Parisian jazz clubs, including Le Ducs des Lombards, Alliance Jazz Club and Le Petit Journal.

Sebastien then spent 8 years in America. His arrival in 1998, was a pivotal point in his musical career. He meet Fred Berry, the director of the Stanford University Jazz Orchestra, a meeting he says changed his life. “Taking me under his wing, he invited me to play with his orchestra, and with some of the greatest jazz musicians in the world.” Those musicians include such major artists as Bobby Hutcherson, Bob Florence, Billy Higgins, Jon Faddis, John L. Worley, Jr. and Louie Bellson. “Only a few months after I arrived, I recorded a CD with the Stanford Orchestra and Louie Bellson. I never imagined that possibility before coming to the United States.”

While a part of The Stanford Jazz Orchestra, he toured Europe, playing at The Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland, the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy, and the Jazz A Vienne Festival in France.

Sebastien has been a participant at the major California jazz venues, among them the San Jose Jazz festival, the Pacifica Jazz Festival, and Jazz on the Hill. For many years, he was a teacher and performer at the Stanford Jazz Workshop, one of the most well known jazz workshops in the world.

Sebastien currently performs world wide with a variety of groups that reflect his eclectic taste in music. He most recently spent two years in Seville, Spain, quickly establishing himself as a first-call player. In addition to guest appearances with local artists he led his own Trio, and toured extensively throughout Spain with La Tarasca, a well known Dance/Theater company. He appeared with Ricardo Mateus and Planeta tambor, a Brazillian pop band, as well as DJ Sebastien Gamboa of Balearic people, a production company from Ibiza. On the U.S. scene, his history with West Coast U.S. artists is extensive: As part of the Fil Lorenz Little Big Band and the Collective West Jazz Orchestra, he explores the straight ahead sound made famous by Blue Note. He has also appeared with the R & B inspired Nick Rossi Set, playing the upstairs lounge at the Fillmore, the Black Cat and Bruno's in San Francisco, and the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles. Additionally, he performed with the Louie Bellson Jazz Orchestra, the Filoli "All Star" Repertory Jazz Band, and the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra. Currently when in the U.S., he performs as part of John L. Worley Jr.'s Worlview ensemble with an appearance slated for the Monterey Jazz Festival in 2006 as well as The Fil Lorenz Sout-tet.