Knoxville (TN) – Starting January 2013, Music Arts Management, the Knoxville-based agency, will provide worldwide representation for the master jazz tenor saxophonist Ralph Lalama. Described by jazz critic Zan Stewart as "a grand, modern-minded storyteller" and a "first-class jazz soloist" Lalama has also excelled as a a veteran of jazz ensembles such as the Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, and Carla Bley big bands and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra — now the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra — with whom he is a featured soloist on Monday nights at New York’s Village Vanguard.
Invited to New York by the legendary Thad Jones, Ralph Lalama's career includes three GRAMMY awards with the Joe Lovano Nonet (52nd Street Themes, 2001) and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (The Way – The Music of Slide Hampton, 2004 and Live at the Village Vanguard, 2008)).
He has two recent releases as a leader on the Mighty Quinn Productions label. “Ralph Lalama Quartet: Energy Fields” (2008) was met with a chorus of rave reviews. Jazz icon Dan Morgenstern dubbed it “…one of my best of the year picks, on “Jazz from the Archives,” WBGO. As a member of the New York Jazz Initiative (NYJI) he is featured on a tribute to the music of Thad Jones, “Mad About Thad”. He has combined talents on a number of projects with his equally acclaimed musical brother, pianist/composer/ arranger/educator Dave Lalama, on a 2010 release entitled “Family Portrait.” 2011 saw the Lalama Brothers release “Erie Avenue” with bassist Peter Washington, drummer Kenny Washington and special guest Joe Lovano. In 2012, Lalama releases his “Bop Juice: Ralph Lalama Trio, Live at Smalls.” He is the producer of and performs on a CD of vocalist Nicole Pasternak, “In A Word,” (2005, Garagista Music).
Lalama has five projects as a leader for the Dutch label, Criss-Cross Jazz. “Music for Grown-Ups,” (1999) featured notables Richard Wyands at the piano, Peter Washington on bass and Kenny Washington on drums. “Lalama is out front booting things along with that cavernous sound of his and a swing and swagger that is infectious.” (allaboutjazz). “Circle Line” (1997) garnered 4½ stars from DownBeat and secured him a spot in the magazine’s “Top CDs of the Decade” (Dec. 99). “You Know What I Mean” (1995) received wide acclaim and “Momentum” (1992) with Kenny Barron placed him at No. 2 on NY’s WBGO playlist, just behind tenor giant Joe Henderson.