Location: Youngstown, OH
Birthday: January 26
Hobbies: Godzilla Movies, Coffee, Jamming
Mitch Lawrence may be the newest member to join the ranks of The Chardon Polka Band, but he’s definitely got some history with the group. Before coming onboard as a full time member of the CPB team in 2016, Mitch was a regular substitute for the group. Mitch had also worked for the group as an arranger, doing some compositions for the band’s studio album “A Fistful of Polka”. When the band went recruiting for an additional saxophone player, he was the first call they made.
Mitch Lawrence is wild, zany, and energetic… In other words, he fits right in with The Chardon Polka Band. His liveliness onstage is rivaled only by his expertise with his instrument. His method of expression is the tenor saxophone, and he has honed his skills with it performing with over 70 different bands and groups. From a young age, Mitch studied saxophone under a number of teachers. His interest in jazz during his teenage years lead him into The Pittsburg Jazz Society Student Big Band. After graduating high school, Mitch chose to focus on music and went on to study jazz saxophone at Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music.
Besides his formal training, Mitch cites various family members as helping with and inspiring him in his musical endeavors. His father showed him how to play by ear, his Grandma Grace provided piano lessons, and his uncle Jim worked on him with improvisation skills (a must have for any jazz artist). It was his aunt Janet that encouraged him to take his music to a higher level, ultimately the professional level.
Mitch’s background and training in jazz make him an asset to The Chardon Polka Band. The Chardon Polka Band are known to throw virtually anything into their zany Oktoberfest sets and Mitch’s ability to improv allows him to jump from polka, to punk, to country, to hip hop. His love of music and his the joy he gets from performing are readily visible throughout any performance. Mitch Lawrence is The Chardon Polka Band’s kicking wild man on sax.