LaShawn D. Gary – Emmy Award Winning Producer, Composer, Smooth Jazz Artist, Arranger, and Pianist is the Executive Director for the Michigan Fine Arts Institute. He is a native of Detroit, Michigan and received his Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Instrumental Music Education from Southern University A&M College where he also served as the Band Captain of the world renowned “Human Jukebox” Marching Band. He earned a Master’s of Music Education Degree from the University of Louisville.
LaShawn is currently on staff as a composer for the new television mini- series “Terror Lake Drive” featuring Malik Yoba, Shannon Kane and Lamman Rucker. He is also completing his second album scheduled for release in September of 2021. LaShawn has toured professionally as a pianist with jazz guitarist Mark Whitfield and the late jazz clarinetist Alvin Batiste.
LaShawn has worked as a composer/arranger in commercial advertisement with Burrell Communications, Global Hue and Yessian Music. His musical talents were displayed on television in the production of the Toyota Avalon “Son-in-Law” commercial, the introductory advertisement of the Ford Fiesta, Xfinity “Unplug” Commercial and the Happy’s Pizza Jingle featuring the Four Tops. LaShawn was the Choir Director for the McDonald’s 365 Black Awards directing the Southern University Gospel Choir with Erica Campbell and the Louisiana Leadership Institute Drumline performance with American Idol winner, singer, and actress Jordan Sparks.
LaShawn worked with Grammy Award winning singer Patti Austin, Greg Phillinganes, and Sanchez Harley as the Assistant Choir Director for the Charles H. Wright Museum 50th Anniversary Celebration “Oh Freedom”. In 2015, LaShawn released his debut album, “Love, Peace, and Praise.” Two singles, “Now Is the Time” and “Love, Peace, and Praise” charted on iHeart Radio and SmoothJazz.com in 2019 and 2020. The decade ended as the Emmy Award winning producer and fellow producing partners, Bill Bowen and Mike Ellison released “Detroit: One Nation Under A Groove”, a YouTube video featuring the Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences Choir which received over a million views in the first month. The team was also awarded two Detroit Music Awards for “Outstanding Music Video” and “Outstanding Urban Recording”.
LaShawn is a music educator with Southfield Public Schools and serves as the Director of Music at Oak Grove AME Church. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated, Phi Mu Alpha Professional Music Fraternity, The American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). He is married to Cherida D. Gary and together they have two children Nigel and Niyah.
Gary’s new single “Line Brothers” features two of his Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Line Brothers (Donald Edwards – drums; Roland Guerin – bass), along with percussionist Romel Alexander. We think LaShawn’s talent on piano is showcased on “Line Brothers”.
Listen to Line Brothers on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 18/5).