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Rick Shadrach Lazar

Rick Shadrach Lazar — Rick was voted Percussionist of the Year in 2000,1999,1997 and 1996 by Jazz Report magazine and has released 3 CDs with his own group Montuno Police:


Bang 1990

Juno-nominee Touch 1995 (Best Contemporary Jazz Album),

The Call - Live in 1999, which features special guest Randy Brecker on trumpet.


Rick has worked/recorded with the likes of Bruce Cockburn, Barry White, Paul Shaffer, Brian Hughes, Blues Brothers, Vuja De, Levon Ichkhanian, as well as being a regular collaborator with Loreena McKennitt on five of her CDs, including her Juno winner, The Visit and Book of Secrets, which was No.#1 on Billboard's World Music Charts.


Rick is also the creator and artistic director of Samba Squad, a sizzling group of 30 percussionists, forging new traditions in Brazilian " batucada."


Rick also instructs Latin Ensembles at Humber College of Music, and is kept busy doing a variety of live and studio gigs.


Rick's knowledge of world drums and music combines with his passionate energy to create a unique percussionist who is first call for a diverse array of artists.


Canadian born Lazar descends from the ancient Assyrian people & his Middle Eastern musical roots can be heard in his Afro-Latin-New World Fusions.


Rick received his first musical instruction in his hometown, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada from his father who gave him lessons on piano and woodwinds. In high school Rick got seriously into drums and percussion and soon co-led the most popular band in town with his good friend Paul Shaffer of David Letterman fame.


After getting his B.A. (History major) from Lakehead University, Rick studied percussion at Indiana University's famed school of music and soon found himself in I.U.'s renowned University Jazz Band, which included Peter Erskine on drums.


After university, Rick played with innovative funk and fusion groups in the mid-west, as well as touring the U.S. as percussionist with Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra.


Returning to Canada, Rick established himself in Toronto, performing with jazz fusion band, Manteca, and doing a variety of record dates, film sessions and jingles.


In the early 80's, Rick formed Coconut Groove, a high-energy dance band featuring ground-breaking "World Beat & Jazz Rap" . This exciting group was a pivotal force on the Toronto music scene and its creative influences can still be heard today.


In 1987, Rick formed the Montuno Police, a six piece instrumental band which combines strong original compositions, wicked grooves, and creative interplay that takes it to the edge. MP wowed audiences in appearances at the Du Maurier Toronto and Montreal International Jazz Festivals.


In 1990, Lazar began his musical association with Loreena Mckennitt. Since then he has become a regular collaborator, adding his musical talents to 4 of her C.D.'s [including Juno award winner "The Visit"] as well as being an integral part of the musical group that accompanies her on her world tours.


Having established a reputation as a clinician by giving informative and exciting workshops in world music drumming styles (Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and Arabic), Lazar became a music educator in 1996 when he joined the percussion faculty at the Humber College of Music (Toronto) as an instructor, leading Latin Music Ensembles.

Rick Shadrach Lazar



Loreena Mckennitt

North America & Europe, 1994 — World Tour, 1996 —
Mediterranean Tour, 1996 — The Book of Secrets - World Tour, 1998

Brian Hughes

North America - 1993-1996

Michael Burgess

Canadian Tour, 1998

Montuno Police

Eastern Canada Jazz Fest Dates, 1998



Jazz Report Magazine - Percussionist of the Year - 2000,1999,1997 & 1996

Special Projects

Samba Squad

Musical Director - 30 Piece Brazilian Drumming Group

Duos with Levon Ichkhanian, Armenian guitarist - Adventures in Arabian music. Performed at Toronto Jazz Festival 1998

Producer of Montuno Police Concerts

Live at DuMaurier Theatre at
Harbourfront - with special guest Randy Brecker - Sept. 21, 1997 - with special guest Levon Ichkhanian and Ernie Toller - June 13, 1999

Medina - Jewish - Arabic Music Quartet

David Bookbinder, Ernie Toller, Levon Ichkhanian and Rick Shadrach Lazar

Paul Shafer's House Party

Cancer Benefit - Thunder Bay - 1995 (Special guest)

Guest Artist with First World Ashkenaz Festival Toronto - 1995

Member of Theatrical Production "The Evolution of Jazz"

Producer, Arranger & Player "First Nite Finale" which consisted of 14 percussionists with a 50 member gospel choir - Toronto - 1993


Rick Shadrach Lazar and Montuno Police

Touch (Juno nominee Contemporary Jazz) 1995 Dark Light Music

Bang 1990 Dark Light Music

The Call 1999


Samba Squad with Rick Shadrach Lazar

Samba Squad 2000

Toca Drum

Loreena Mckennitt

Book of Secrets 1997 Wamers - Wea

A Winter Garden 1995 Wamers - Wea

The Mask and The Miffor 1994 Wamers - Wea

The Visit 1991 - Juno Winner (Folk) Wamers - Wea

Parallel Dream 1990 Wamers - Wea

Bruce Cockburn

Breakfast in New Orleans, Dinner in Timbuktu - 2000

Beauty of the Day (quartet) - 1998

Great Big Sea

Play 1997 Wamers - Wea

Up 1995 Warmers - Wea

Blues Brothers 2000 with Paul Shaffer


Liona Boyd

New Release 2001

Great Big Sea

Play 1997 Wamers - Wea
1995 Warmers - Wea

Andy Milne

New Release 2001

Dholak Drum

Brian Hughes

One-to-One 1998

Straight To You 1996 Wamers - Wea

Under One Sky 1992 Justin Time Records

Between Dusk & Dreaming 1990 Justin Time Record

Ron Korb

Celtic Heartland 1999

Sharlene Wallace

Journey of Shadows 1998


Donald Quan

Invocata 1998

Monkey Drum


New Release 2000

Vuja De

New Release 2001
Mundancas 1998


New Release 2001
Self-titled 1998

Bill McBirnie

Extreme Flute 1998



Whore 1995 E.M.I.

Jeff Healy

Cover to Cover 1995 Arista

Levon Ichkhanian

After Hours 1996 Independent

Aidan Mason

Azania 1995 Alma Records

Stan Samole

Childish Dreams 1994 Jazz Inspirations

Buzz Drum

Daniel Janke

In a Room 1995 Independent

Randev Pandit

Anhata 1995 Dark Light Music

Allahandra Nunez

Proyecto Urbano 1997 Dark Light Music

Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band

Fire 1996 Independent

Agada 1993 Independent


Saravd Criola 1995 Independent


Raf Robertson

Branches 1994 Independent

Rob Carrol

H Music 1992 RSM Records


Canoe Ride to Lost Chord Lake 1992 RSM Records

Ron Allan

Sax Art 1991 RSM Records


Rick Lazar | Collin Barrett | Mark Kelso | John Johnson | Hugh Marsh | Gordon Sheard

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