Pioneer of New Age music to perform in capital city

Posted: Thursday, September 28, 2000

Pianist and composer David Lanz has been a key player in the genre of New Age music since the term was first coined in the early 1980s. With more than 15 albums to his credit, his compositions have been some of the genre's biggest hits.

Lanz brings his music to Juneau this weekend for a performance at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Juneau-Douglas High School auditorium.

Lanz played rock and roll as a kid, and jazz in bars and nightclubs for almost 10 years before he recorded his first album in 1983. A friend asked him to tape a few of his solo instrumental piano pieces to use in a seminar on chakras and healing. He received so many requests from students in the class for copies that he was encouraged to produce "Heartsounds."

That album helped define what became known as New Age music instrumental, acoustic compositions. Billboard magazine, the recording industry's sales journal, established a separate chart for the genre, Adult Alternative/New Age.

The album "Christofori's Dream," Lanz tribute to the man who invented the piano, went gold (500,000 copies sold) and spent 27 weeks on the top of the New Age chart in 1988. The single from the album, "Behind the Waterfall," garnered considerable radio airplay.

Lanz has had eight albums in the top ten of the New Age chart. He's also made three recordings with guitarist Paul Speer and recorded soundtracks for three nature videos.

The concert is sponsored by the University of Alaska Southeast. Tish Griffin, student activities director, said the members of the musical duo Tingstad and Rumbel talked to her about Lanz. She said the Seattle musicians, who have performed many times in Juneau, have worked with Lanz.

"They've recorded with him," she said. "They said he's funny and personable in concert, and they recommended him."

Lanz will be performing solo. Tickets are available at Hearthside Books and from the UAS cashier.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. UAS students pay $10 less.

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