Meet the Artist: Pianist Sean Lane
Oct 19, 2017 04:00PM ● Published by Nicole Gould
After following in his mother’s footsteps and learning to play the piano, Lane attended SUNY-Fredonia, where he earned degrees in piano and music. He continued to earn his Master’s degree from the University of Maryland, taking classic piano lessons and studying jazz.
Throughout the years, the local pianist has performed at six Presidential inaugural events, upon many others. With his career spanning over a decade in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area, Lane and his band, the Bay Jazz Project, have been nominated Best Jazz Duo-Group several times by the Washington Area Music Association. No matter what style of jazz they play, this group of musicians display nothing short of energy and passion.
“We always like to have fun when we perform. If the audience has half as much fun as we do, then they’ll be very satisfied! At the upcoming Spirits Festival, we hope to enhance the experience for everyone by providing music from the 20’s.” - Sean Lane
See Sean Lane perform at What’s Up? Media’s first ever Whiskey and Spirits event on October 26, 2017 at the Annapolis Maritime Museum. Tickets are available for purchase online here.
When did you start to get interested in music and what ultimately drove you to the piano? What is it about Jazz music that you preferred over other genres? Who is someone you’ve looked to for inspiration?
I grew up in New York and absorbed all types of music. From Classical and Jazz to Rock and Soul, I heard it all from my family, friends, and neighbors. My mom played piano, so I started picking out songs off TV, like the Charlie Brown song, when I was little. I took Classical lessons from the typical “nice lady down the street,” but my dad introduced me to Jazz and I was drawn to the improvisation, the soul, and self-expression.
What has been one of the best moments throughout your musical career and why?
Bay Jazz Project has had the honor to play at inauguration parties for the past three presidents. No matter who’s the president, it’s an honor to play for this event that occurs, peacefully, every four years in our democracy.
How would you say the music industry has changed/developed since you began? Would you say that you’ve grown as an artist because of it?
Technology and social media have made a huge impact on musicians. From the business of music to promoting and creating, technology has impacted the entire realm of music. One of the real positive changes is that we're living in the age of the "niche genre." It's now possible for every conceivable sub-genre of music to peacefully co-exist.
Today, you can listen to anything. If you want to hear an Irish jig played by a didgeridoo and a glockenspiel -- click, click, click -- you can find someone somewhere who's doing it and listen to it. That's amazing and very healthy for the continued musical growth of our planet.
What can people expect to see when they come to see you play? Are you currently working on anything new?
We always like to have fun when we perform. If the audience has half as much fun as we do, then they’ll be very satisfied! At the upcoming Spirits Festival, we hope to enhance the experience for everyone by providing music from the 20’s.
During Prohibition, gathering together to enjoy Spirits and music was done on the “down low”. It was so much fun, that if they got caught, it was worth it! This event will have that same vibe of coming together to enjoy the company, the food and drinks, and the musicians who are having as much fun as possible.